Back in Black

Ok I've been kind of torn about whether or not to post this one, but what the heh - it's always a learning experience, right? I do like the dress so why not show it?

I picked it up a few weeks ago at I think a TJ Maxx, and even though it's technically a junior's dress I think it works on my *very not* junior's frame. The first thing that caught my eye was the neckline - this dress has a beautiful scooped front with sleeves that go up and around the neck in what's almost a halter.

The other details that made this fit so well are the empire neckline and the slight pleats under the bust. It helps the dress flow over my stomach and rest along my hips.

Know what else I noticed about this dress? It is very very short. I just threw on some gray tights here, but looking at the pictures I think I wanna try it with black lace tights and black high heels. I don't mind the boots but the whole look isn't quite working for me.

But don't think that means I don't love the boots! I talked about them in a previous post, but these platform stiletto OTK boots are one of my favorites - they just don't lend themselves to everyday wear. I've only worn them out once so far, for my birthday last November, but I'm definitely going to have to bring them back out for another event soon!

Green for Brown Eyes

I always love an excuse to dress up! Then when you add in using a new eyeshadow it's even better. I purchased Oomph (Mickey Contractor) from the MAC in Times Square over MLK Weekend. That collection was a little harder for me to get my hands on because it was only being sold in store at MAC's top 20 (I think?) stores in the United States....and apparently the Georgetown Location is not one of them. Luckily NY is and I was able to swatch things for myself and assuage my deep need for a green to compliment my eyes and skintone. Oomph is a blackened green that can be built up for true intensity, though here I packed it on top of one of MAC's Greasepaint sticks. 

I picked this look after seeing MissChievous's latest video on YouTube, where she took inspiration from London to create this beautiful, smokey, modern eye. Hope you like the way it looks here!

Products Used:
~~MAC Greasepaint Stick in Slick Black
~~ Stila eyeshadow in sajama
~~MAC eyeshadow in Oomph
~~Stila eyeshadow in makalu 
~~MAC eyeshadow in Humid
~~Sephora kohl liner in 01 keep black
~~Clinique High Impact Macara
~~Ardell Wispies Lashes

P.S. - I'm unfortunately still taking photos with my broken camera so if the colors don't look quite right I apologize now! At least you get the general idea :)

Re/Dress Part 2 - the keepers :)

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Ahh the joy of taking home something you love. I have to admit to loving the shopping experience. While it's hard to try things on and end up disappointed, finding that one great piece - for me - makes it all worthwhile.

I have to admit though that Re/Dress might ultimately not be the perfect store me. They had a lot of great vintage pieces but I'm just not enough of a vintage girl. And then there's a few sizing concerns; I often fall just on that line between 'normal' and 'plus' size clothes and Re/Dress has significantly more options for women larger than me. I think just like anywhere else I shop it's going to be a lot of trial and error to find pieces that I want to keep. 

My motto is that if I don't love something, really really love it, then I don't need to be buying it. I'll take tailoring into consideration, but whatever clothing I'm considering has to speak to me on some level. Which sounds a lot harder than it actually is, because I'm such a weird mix of level headed but impulse shopper. Sometimes I will see something and even if I can't explain it I know I have to have it. I will think about it, consider it, rationalize it's place in my life, but usually if it hits me like that there's very little going back (this is pretty much exactly what happens when I get a new purse).

So I hope you understand the things I did decide to get at Re/Dress, even if you don't love them like I do ;)

1. Leopard Print Skirt

Verdict: Keeper! For some reason the idea of a leopard print skirt has been an obsession of mine for months. When I do my ASOS Curve review you'll see one I rejected, but I can't even tell you why I wanted one. I don't where I saw the inspiration but I think this skirt will do for me very nicely. It' not a pencil skirt but I think in hindsight that's probably a better idea as it makes it more wearable in work and life and less a 'hot to trot' piece of clothing. It's a Jones New York skirt and while you can't probably can't tell from my shoeless state in this pic but I think the right above the knee placement is really flattering and it fits well on the waistline for when I want to tuck things in.

2. Floral Halter Dress

Verdict: Mine! Excuse the bra and the slightly from below angle - I don't think they really do the dress justice. It's actually very cute and I can't wait to wear it out this Spring/Summer! The first thing that grabbed me about this dress, once you move past the print, is the fit of the dress. The empire waist seam hits exactly under my bust, right where it should, and then rest of the dress just flows along the length of my body. It's the perfect combo to compliment my hour-glass figure and helps make a dress that will be wonderful dressed up with wedges or dressed down in flats. Also the way the halter is fitted on this dress makes it very appropriate for day; it comes up on the bust high enough that it's not scandalous and for my office, if I add a little cardigan over it, could even be work appropriate.

3. Pewter CK Dress

Verdict: I'm just waiting for an event to wear this to! Again excuse the peaks of bra here and there, but I love this Calvin Klein dress. The tank top sleeves make it perfect to wear a bra underneath, the empire waist and ruched top half make it flattering to the bust, and the slimming silhouette from there downward make it perfect for almost any evening event. If the sorority party tomorrow didn't have an all black dress code you know I'd be sporting this one!

Well I hate to say it but that's it folks. I only ended up buying 3 things at Re/Dress but as they're things I really like I'm not sad. Quality over quantity I always say.

Hope you enjoyed the post though, and I can't wait to show you how some of these up end in my outfit rotation later on!

Re/Dress NYC - Vintage and Resale for Sizes 14+

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Yay for the long weekend! While work was closed due to a particularly important US holiday, I was using the time off to rest and relax with my former roommate in NY. It's one of the great pleasures of living in DC (I think) that we can hop on a bus at a moments notice, for relatively little money, and be in the big city in under 5hrs. You'd think I'd take advantage of this more often, no? No. 

Big surprise I know, but I'm a lazy bum who prefers to do nothing with a book on her couch. STILL this time I stepped outside my little box and decided that 'eat, sleep, and shop' was going to be my vision for the weekend's debauchery. 

One of the places that I just had to see was Re/Dress NYC. I've been reading about it on numerous plus size blogs for awhile as THE place to go for vintage and resale items. For me vintage stores have been more for shoes or jewelry because 90% of the time nothing fit - or if it did 'fit' it looked very very strange. Re/Dress though is something different. That store is made for my size or bigger and while it turns out I just don't have the vintage mentality, I did get a tremendous kick out of having so much stuff to look through.

I didn't end up buying a ton, I'm trying to be pickier and only get things I really love, but I still wanted to talk about what I tried on and why it didn't work for me. It's the only way any of us learn, right? Luckily my friend Makiko was willing to not only travel to Brooklyn to visit a store she could fit nothing in, but also be in the dressing room with my suddenly, just-at-the-worst-possible-moment, broken camera. Thus all the vertical/horizontal lines and the sometimes wonky colors can be attributed to my stupid Powershot and not to Makiko's camera skills. (I had a weird, funny only to me, slightly racist joke here but I think we're just going to use the delete button and keep it moving. I'm not Ricky Gervais.)

1. Random silver tank top dress (or shirt)

Verdict: While I like the idea of the sequin-esque front and black back, it not only accentuated my hips in a bad way the arm holes didn't fit. I'm using orange arrows to point it out there, but there's some bagging right about the bust where it didn't fit. And now matter how cheap, that's just not going to work for me. 

2. Black jacket with ruffled collar

Verdict: WHOA is that flash doing nothing to help me or my stomach in that first picture. Sigh. Oh well the point I was TRYING to make here was that this jacket was just too big. While it was cut well (ish) it didn't hug my curves enough to really be flattering and since it had no way to close, there weren't any buttons, you couldn't really make the jacket mimic it either. The second photo is more to point out the ruffle - you can't tell here but this ruffle is detachable and the jacket also comes with one in gray so you can switch it out! I really like the idea, if not the fit, so I highly recommend you try it on if you're in the area.

3. CrAzY pattern dress

Verdict: Yeah I think this is just a fail all around. While the neckline's not too bad the dress is just shapeless everywhere else which if you're like me and have a larger bust is a big no-no. It makes everything big run together into a large shapeless blob and makes you look waay heavier than you are. I even tried this with a belt, though I admit I had limited options, and wasn't impressed. 

4. CrAzY one shoulder dress

Verdict: Shapeless, crazy pattern, and one shoulder. That's a lot of unflattering stuff for one dress. Still I could almost see how someone who was not me might make this work, but I wasn't even gong to bother on a dress I didn't love that had a $70 price tag. 

5. Navy stretch dress

Verdict: Oh did I want this to work. Even at $63 I wanted this to work. I loved the stretch like fabric, the 50's inspired silhouette, LOVED the white accents - really just loved the whole thing, but alas, it wasn't meant to be. The most obvious problem you're able to see in the second picture; the dress didn't fit exactly in the torso (I think) and me being shorter there and the dress being longer cause some back fabric ripples. Very not cute and no matter how much frantic tugging I did at the waist corrected the problem. Second? You can't tell in the first picture but with the belt closed I really couldn't breathe. Like I would have ended up as one of those corseted English and fainted if I wore it too long, couldn't breathe. The dress itself had plenty of stretch and zipped up fine, it's the reason why it can hug my curves to closely, but the cute belt that came with the dress was determined to chop off a lung. I had to let it go. It hurt me, but I had to let it go.

Sad to see all that huh? I completely agree. Luckily the next post will be much more light hearted as we focus on the stuff I loved and was able to buy! Yay!

Stay tuned for Re/Dress Part 2!

P.S. - I would have loved to show you pictures inside but my crappy camera totally failed at this. Sorry!

There are very few 'right' ways - especially in fashion

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I actually saw this first talked about on a petite blog, but I wanted to at least bring attention to the Huffington Post article: WTForever 21: Plus-Problems.

I can't disagree so much with the core this article is coming from, that some things are just hideous for anyone (though there is an implied 'especially plus sized women), but I do want to bring up the fact that sometimes it can really depend on the person. Over the past few months as I've delved deeper into the fat blogosphere, I've seen some incredible examples of how you just can never know. Peg leg pants, jeggings, flowered bloomers, cage dresses. sequins - the list could go on forever! Jay from Fatshionable and Gabi from  Young, Fat, and Fabulous - to name just two! - wear and rock things I could never even comprehend on my own body.

So yes, Forever 21 can go wrong with their fashion. Waaay wrong sometimes. But I'd say before denouncing clothing as just not doable on a plus size frame, see what's out there. Try it on, add a belt - chop some of it off! 

Fashion is a very personal thing and when people keep their proportions in mind so much is possible. I might just be inching my toes in the waters of new or 'fashion forward' but I applaud the men and women who rock what they have using pieces that others might see as garbage.

(another) Etsy Find: Miss Brache

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Apparently I'm just doomed to window shop for things out of my price range this week, because we're seeing it again here in the Etsy gem Miss Brache. She does custom vintage/pinup style clothes and needless to say I love them. My favorites:

e.l.f brush sale: My Picks

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Now e.l.f. does this pretty often - the 50% off sale thing - but I wanted to point it out again in the face of a big makeup truth: a lot of the time the makeup you do is only as good as the brushes you use.

I don't say this to mean you have to buy expensive brushes. What I recommend is that you pick some up that work for you. That allow you to do the blending, patting, and swirling that most people need to create that perfect look. e.l.f. is one of my favorites because their brushes can be cheap as hell but work really really well. 

I bought backups of a lot of my favorites during the 55% off everything Christmas sale, but if you're in the market here are my picks:

I actually like this cheaper version better than the Studio offering. It's compact enough to pick up a lot of color but also has enough give that blending is a breeze.

Perfect for combing out my sometimes unruly brows - and it's a $1!

I love this brush. I've bought back ups upon backups and recommended it to everyone. It's perfect anything but I love using it to apply liquid foundation. Hands down this swirls and buffs everything into my skin the best.

This is another of my absolute favorites and I use it for everything powder - setting, bronzer, and brush. It does it all.

This is great for applying cream eyeshadow, either just themselves or as bases to powder shadow. 

It's a little thick for all my liner purposes, but it's a great multitasker to switch between liner and brows. 

For patting on dry eyeshadow I still prefer the Loew Cornel 3/4 of an inch. I bought mine at AC Moore, I think, for $3 and some change. 

Brushes are 50% off with the code RTB until Jan 17, 2011!

New Years Eve in DC Part II-b

Ok time to get to the up close and personal for my look! As usual for me it was all about the eyes and as soon as I saw Pixiwoo do these smokey eyes I was hooked. It was in their tutorial on Pam Anderson's look (you can find it here) and what I loved most about it is how simplistic it is when you really think about it. Except for the color on the lid and a little bit of brow highlight, this is all done with one matte black color. Just taking it over and over again along the crease, shading as you go - all to ensure a sharp but blended final product.

I do have to admit that I think this looks somewhat better on a woman with less lid space because it comes across as even smokier than it is. Still for the second time of having done it on myself I do think it does something for the shape of my eyes that I really like. Probably more than almost any other smokey eye that I've done I think this really elongates my eye shape.

Products Used:

~~MAC shimmery beige eyeshadow(name unknown)
~~Stila eyeshadow in makalu
~~Sephora kohl pencil in 01 keep black
~~MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack
~~Nars highlight in Albatross 
~~Clinique High Impact Mascara (the one in the forest green tube)

I just wasn't in the mood for falsies on NYE, but I think that's another addition that ups the drama factor. I finished off the look with a bit of blush (I've forgotten which one - sorry!) and Wet n' Wild lipstick. I didn't want to top it with gloss because I felt the more satin finish worked better with the vintage-y feel of the evening.

Etsy Find: JIBRI Plus Size Fashion

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Apparently this is going to be another one of those days where I get little to nothing productive done. I've been whittling away at the hours by playing around on some of my favorite fat fashion blogs though, and have found a great new Etsy find: JIBRI Online. JIBRI seems to specialize in plus size fashions, a lot of it vintage inspired. Take a look at a couple of their listings that I love: 

Great right?! 

The price range is a little out of my budge at the moment, most pieces seem to hover in the $150 - $300 range, but it never hurts to look. Also due to their  popularity with the blog Le blog de Big Beauty, you can save 25% with the code BigBeauty25 until January 31st, 2011.

Edit: Check out past JIBRI collections on their website, here.  --Thanks for the tip Christie!

This is really the only reason you came to work today

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Know what I did this weekend? I succumbed to peer and roommate pressure and watched the movie parody Vampires Suck. The saddest thing?

I laughed the entire damn time.

I admit that some of the references (and just how accurate they were) had to be explained to me, but even I had enough Twilight movie knowledge to see how fantastic these actors were playing their parts. But really, the best part was I think the first song played in the movie: Magicwandos "My Panties":

I feel so lonely.
Nobody gets me.
I am so unhappy.

Why can't I find a
Cool, alternative boyfriend
Who understands me?

I feel so lonely.
Nobody gets me.
I am so unhappy.

Why can't I find a
Cool, alternative boyfriend
Who understands me?

We can watch "Degrassi",
Shop at Hot Topic,
We're sexting dirty pix of me in my panties

We can watch "Degrassi",
Shop at Hot Topic,
Sexting dirty pix of me in my panties.

(You like it, my panties)
Sexting dirty pix of me in my panties.
(You like it, my panties)


Prime those lids ladies!

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My opinion is still out on whether face primer is worth it or not, especially for someone like me who has oily skin, but eye primer is no joke.

Your eyeshadow will be brighter, last longer, and creasing will be much less likely with a primer underneath. I've tried a few - MAC paints, UDPP, LASplash Eyeshadow Base, etc. - but my new favorite is Lorac's Behind the Scenes Eyeshadow Primer.

It's got practically no pigment and while I know it's the winter I still haven't experienced any creasing at all when I use this. And since my lids are MAJORLY oily I consider this an amazing feet. I think it would be perfect for anyone, even those with dry lids, because it's a smooth creamy product that's easy to apply and makes a big difference.

If you want longer lasting brighter eye looks I say definitely give it a try :)

New Years Eve in DC Part II-a

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Let me just say that I love when my friends let me play. It's slightly more intense when there's an actually event - what do you mean I can't play around, f*ck up, and then take it all off? - I still love the chance to play around with products that I usually only use on myself.

For New Years Eve I went out with a couple friends but Suzanne here asked me for a bolder look she could wear with a slightly more subdued outfit. Her dress was gray with black accents and so I decided to go with my staple - purple! I'd yet see MAC's Violet pigment on anyone darker skinned than myself and it was a wonderful opportunity to practice different techniques. Plus an example of how I would deal with a client who was taller than I was. It's really made it hit home how badly I need a chair for people to sit in. I'm not tall enough and most of my seats have low enough stances that make applying makeup way harder than necessary. And no matter how many pillows or blankets I tried I don't think my knees will hold up very long to be applying it from the floor.

One of the things I loved most about this look was topic it with MAC's Reflect Glitter. It added a touch of sparkle and shine to the look, perfect for NYE. It was the first time I'd used it, or seen it used, in the color teal and I have to say it's beautiful.

**I didn't add black to Suzanne's waterline or mascara (especially on her bottom lashes) at her request - she hates it.**

Products Used:

~~Stila Smude Pot in ultraviolet
~~MAC Violet Pigment
~~MAC eyeshadow in Graphology
~~Stila eyeshadow in makalu
~~MAC eyeshadow as a shimmery beige highlight (name unknown - sorry!)
~~MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack
~~MAC Reflects Glitter in Transparent Teal
~~e.l.f. Studio Eyebrow Kit in Dark

Oh - in case you're interested Suzanne is wearing MAC's new Pro Longwear Foundation

Thoughts on my YSL Mascara

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Well I was going to do some kind of long post about my YSL Effet Faux Cils mascara, full of those type of comparison pictures that I get sick enjoyment out of examining, but unfortunately that's not going to happen. I might be hanging on to the tube out of denial, but the truth is my YSL is probably 90% dried up. DRIED UP.

I can't even say I used it up because I have no idea - when I pull the spoolie out of the tube it's just a clumpy mess. Sometimes I can coax some product out but again, that could be wishful thinking.

What I think I've learned from this experience is that even $30 won't buy you the perfect mascara. It was nice - don't get me wrong. By the time I purchased the Clinique high impact I had to face the harsh reality that I could tell a difference in how my lashes looked. I could in the end only be grateful for the fact that while there was a difference, it was a difference I could live with. When I do eye makeup on myself, especially these days, I used a few coats of 1 or 2 different mascaras. The combination of products usually ends up giving me the type of high volume length that I desire - but since I don't pay any attention to curl, please keep that in mind.

I probably won't buy this again. It was a nice luxury to treat myself to because of Sephora's Friends and Family Sale but I'm not going to end up like Jlovesmac on YouTube, who was apparently buying a new one of these every two weeks. HELL NO.

I leave you with a couple picks from older posts, so that if you really care you too can look with OCD eyes and see the difference between YSL and my usual Rimmel Mascara combo.

 **Ok now that I've put these pictures up - from different posts mind you - it looks WAY weird, but I'm just gonna leave cause it's also kind of hilarious**

The picture on the left my lashes were done using my Rimmel combo (Rimmel Lycra Lash Extender & Max Volume Flash) and the one on the right is the YSL. Have fun being me for a minute or two!

Big love and hopes for great lashes! Later!

New Years Eve in DC Part I

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I'm sad to say that it's time to get back to the real world. Alarm clocks, work - commuting to work - it's all back in full force.


Really the only thing I have left to remind myself that I ever did something fun and fabulous for New Years Eve are these pictures!!! Woohoo!! Thank goodness I'm a bit of a camera whore.  (Suzanne and Tanya if you want me to blur your faces I will, but I think we look fabulous ;D )

Before the event itself I made my friend stop for a glamor shot:

*Earrings are from NY & Co - but forever ago. As in I don't even remember how long I've had them
**I did my friend's makeup here, so look for a post exclusively focused on that to come up soon!

Next we have my full outfit. I love this dress. I think it accentuates all the right places and with the help of my favorite Target-brand imitation Spanx I don't think I even have to worry all that much about front butt either.

*Dress is from - it's the Jessica Wiggle Dress in Burgundy
**The shoes aren't very visible but they're Jessica Simpson platform peep toes that I bought at Marshall's on clearance

The party I attended was at the Old Post Office on Pennsylvania Ave. It was, as my friend Tanya put it, like 'partying in a mall'!

There wasn't a big ball drop or anything for midnight but we did get some countdown action on the projector screen you see below. It allowed us all to time our New Years toast perfectly - which is really all I needed. I wish the picture below wasn't so blurry but I was up on the second level and with flash it all turned out dark and even shittier looking (if you can believe me).

I know that's not a whole lot to look at but I hope you enjoyed the latest edition of Dana's adventures in the city! Look for a couple posts to come up focused on the makeup from that evening - they should be good ones!