Saturday, August 23, 2014

Models in the Plus Size Industry

My family can be so supportive at times. They see the pictures I post of my style on instagram and Facebook and I've been told countless times that I should be a plus size model. I'd love to represent the plus size world via modeling but there's one little thing, plus size models are rarely plus size. While the straight size world of models is full of women with unreality thin bodies, the plus size modeling world is filled with average women.  

When I imagine a plus size woman I imagine someone who is a bit bigger than what an average woman looks like. The average size for a woman is 14. Plus size in my view would be about 18+. When we browse through online catalogs of what clothes to buy we see models. Those models are often size 14 and lower. When we see the rare plus size woman on the runway, she can be as small as a size 8. So the women we see as plus size are actually average. Plus size models are also required to buy padding to wear at shoots. This allows them to fill out clothes perfectly even if they lack in certain areas. Are we alone in the struggle, sadly, no we aren't. 

The fashion industry is full of size shaming and is always searching for the best body and size to represent their clothing. For those who are straight size, being a size 6/8 may feel like plus size when all the models representing straight sizes see are size 0/1/2. A 6/8 may see a plus size model and not understand why she looks like her but all the clothes on the site or in the store look so much larger.  This practice can lead to all sorts of body hate and body confusion. The smallest size is meant to show the clothing in the best possible way but if the women wearing these clothes aren't that small does that mean that these designers and companies are alright with their fashions looking wrong on their target customer? Where do we draw the line?

As for the plus size community we often see the average woman but free of common imperfections. Clothing on a tall woman with the perfect hourglass figure, free of excess belly weight, arm weight, leg weight, will almost always look flawless. The target consumer, however, comes in all different shapes and sizes with excess weight in a variety of places. Not to mention we don't have all that padding. A skirt meant to look great on that hourglass figured model may look great on some but others who have a flat booty, small hips, and larger stomach may find themselves looking drastically different. A top meant to look great on a smaller chested plus size woman may be extremely and suffocatingly tight on a bigger bust.  We can talk about dressing for your shape and size for hours but as any site will show you, you'll have no real idea what that piece of clothing looks like until you try it on after you buy it. 

With all these mixed messages its easily understandable to comprehend why young girls have issues with confidence, self love, self expression through fashion, and, worst of all, eating disorders. We live in a world where we are sold an ever obvious image. The image is that we should either be stick thin, which is fine for those who are naturally petite, or we should be a thick, full bodied, hourglass figure. Both of these body types are increasingly rare. They are not the norm nor the average. Is there something wrong with being thin or hourglass? No, absolutely not. The reality is simply that we exist in a variety of shapes and sizes and the media/corporations/designers has a very narrow view. 

Even something as simple terms we use to desiribe ourselves can become twsisted. As a size 20 woman when i see a size 8 woman i cant help but to admire how thin she is. The size 8 woman, who is comparable to some plus size models, cant get over how "fat" she is. Thin means something very differnt to differnt people. Even terms like thick and curvy are being used to mean different things. A size 4 woman with a booty: curvy. A size 14 woman with an hourglass figure: thick. I always understood thin women to be straight sizes and  thick and curvy to mean women to be plus size. The lines are so blurred our identity is being taken from us. 



I will leave you all with one really mind blowing example. Marlyn Monroe. Her images have been spreed far and wide by many online as the pioneer of curvy and plus size women. The fact? Marilyn Monroe In this famous picture has a size 22/23 inch waist and 36 inch hips. Weight 140 lbs. She was never bigger than a size 6. Yet she's often viewed as plus size and quoted to be even as large as a 16. If we have become so disillusioned that we can believe a size 6 woman is plus size, then where does that leave all the women at size 18+? In a sad, sad world. 

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:
<div align="center"><a href="https://promosimple.com/ps/4f5b"; data-campaign="4f5b" class="promosimple"></a><script type="text/javascript" src="https://promosimple.com/api/1.0/campaign/4f5b/iframe-loader"></script></div>;

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!




<script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.brandbacker.com/bob_cl_tk.js"></script><script type="text/javascript">var search_me = '135_20306'; var scriptElems = document.getElementsByTagName('script'), i=scriptElems.length - 1, curLoc; for (; i; --i) { curLoc = scriptElems[i]; if ('innerText' in curLoc) { if (curLoc.innerText.indexOf(search_me)) break; }else if ('textContent' in curLoc) { if (curLoc.textContent.indexOf(search_me)) break; }} addImpression(135,20306);var clkHndlr = function(event) { addListenersForClickAround(135,20306, curLoc); };addEvent(window, 'load', clkHndlr);</script><input id="bob_camp_id_135" name="bob_camp_id" value="135" type="hidden"/><input name="bob_camp_mem_id" value="20306" type="hidden"/>

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!