Fatshion Friday: Finishing Touches

Before we get into the meat and potatoes of this post, I’d like to wish all of you that celebrate a Merry Christmas. I hope that you’re spending it with people you love and that you’re in a loving environment.

For those of you that don’t do holidays: I hope that you’re able to spend the day doing things you love with people you love (or if you prefer solitude, that you’re able to indulge in some self-care), and that you’re someplace warm and safe.

And finally: to my sisters and brothers in retail: solidarity to those of you that are working today and I hope all of your customers are pleasant and that your workday goes quickly. πŸ™‚

I’ve gone over some clothing ideas and some shoe suggestions for New Year’s, and now I’m going to share my picks for the finishing touches. This is always my favorite part, because I definitely believe that more is more.

I know. Coco Chanel said to take one thing off before you leave the house, and I’m liable to put two more things on. I say if you love it, rock with it. Confidence has a way of making all types of fashion decisions look sexy.

On to the good stuff!

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Cowrie shells and glitter. From Rachel Stewart Jewelry.

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Shells and shine! From Rachel Stewart Jewelry.

I love a statement earring! I’ve discussed that I don’t really do well in unfamiliar situations with a lot of people, and that goes for going to clubs. My introvert self has a hard time sparking conversation, but I find that I’ll eagerly discuss what you’re wearing or what I’m wearing…hence these lovely earrings! They give interest to whatever you’re wearing and have people ask you where you got them from. And just like that…you’ve made a friend. A lot of her pieces tend to run on the larger side (which I love.) Some of her pieces I’m wearing below to get an idea of some of the sizing.

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I’m such a fan of her work!

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Let me draw your eye downwards…From Lost Queens.

Necklaces are something I’m getting back into. I have eczema, and sometimes having things on my neck (including clothing, which is why I rarely wear button down shirts) irritates me. But I love the drama of this necklace! If you have on a low cut top and a good bra, this just helps to accent all of that lovely cleavage. I am always here for that!

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Arm candy in my fave shade of blue. From Lost Queens.

Bracelets! I love bangles because they jingle. I’m a fan of anything that glitters and makes noise when I move. I figure that’s a more subtle way to draw a little attention, especially when they’re mixed in with a bright color. Blue is bright and soothing, and I adore this set of bangles. Either wear them all on one arm or split them between both (which is how I’d style them.)

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Sexy fringe. From JustFab.

Fringe has been everywhere this season, from shoes to belts. Honestly, the quickest way to up your outfit’s chic quotient would be to add a touch of fringe, and this little clutch fits the bill. Bonus: black and white goes with just about everything so it’s a piece you’ll be able to use again and again!

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Wearable pop art! From Love Cortnie.

I am such a comic geek! The moment I saw this I was ready to change my outfit so I could buy this! Sadly, this doesn’t go with a blessed thing in my wardrobe (as much as I love yellow, I don’t look good in it), but I love the wow factor! This is another ice breaker piece–you’re sure to be asked where you got this from as you’re working the room in your fabulous outfit.

Next week: let’s talk makeup looks and fabulous products! Have a wonderful weekend!

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New Year Shoe Candy

So, last Friday I gave y’all some ideas for really cute outfits for New Year’s Eve.

Now, y’all can’t go out barefoot, right? Unless you’re headed to a beach or something (if you are, take me with you!)

So: here are a few choices for some really pretty shoes, from heels to loafers. Let’s go!

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The front…

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And the back of these beauties from Aminah Abdul Jillil.

These aren’t two toned, by the way. The front view only came in the blush color, and the back only in the black. But OMG, how glorious are these?! These are way too high for my ankles to handle, but honey, you’re gonna turn heads in these bejeweled beauties. Wear these with a dramatic side slit gown or even a cute romper that needs a little jazzing up.

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Ankle tie flats, also fromΒ Aminah Abdul Jillil.

If you feel like you need a little more stability, how about these little pointy toe flats? I love that something that can usually be too plain to go out is given a little extra oomph by the bow tie on the side. So cute!

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Pop of floral brightness. From JustFab.

I like a quirky statement piece. This is perfect for either a big night out or a low key house party. Bonus: the heel isn’t too high!

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Glitzy, because it wouldn’t be me otherwise! From JustFab.

Bring on the dramatic high sparkly heel! Alright, these are again to high for me, but oooh, how pretty! This is for that girl going out for a glam night out on the town and they need their shoes to shine!

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Booties. From Nine West.

I love a bootie to go with a jumpsuit or a pair of pants. I mean, not everyone wants to wear a dress on NYE. What if you need to drop it like it’s hot? You need some coverage, and this pair helps to add to the sleekness of a pantsuit or romper.

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Sparkly flat! From Nine West.

You can never, ever go wrong with a glitter flat. Makes any outfit ten times more glam and you’re comfortable! I did a pair last year, but they cut up my poor toe by the end of the evening. They were still cute though!

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Loafers. Yes! From Nine West.

I adore a loafer, especially when it’s this sleek and chic. I also adore menswear, and am now incorporating more masculine elements into my dress. I would do this shoe with a black jumpsuit that’s tapered at the ankle, and one of those gorgeous cape-style blazers on top. Such a classy way to bring in the new year!

Next up: let’s finish off your looks with some jewels and bags, shall we? See you Friday!

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Makeup Monday: Take It Off!

The title tells you the best tip in the world about having great skin: take your makeup off at night!

It’s advice I would do well to practice consistently. But don’t be me, y’all. Be better than me!

Anyway.

I’ve gotten questions about my skincare regimen for a while, and since we’re in the middle of holiday party season, let me give you some info on how I keep my skin looking good.

First: some background.

My skin has not always looked as good as it has now. This face has seen some unfortunate times due to puberty. When I tell you my face looked like a Nestle Crunch bar? I am NOT exaggerating. It was all broken out, full of dark spots, rough, and it hurt. Acne hurts, y’all. If you’ve never had it, or only had one or two, count yourself lucky.

Mine was so bad that there’s a span between 7th grade to senior year of high school that I didn’t have my school pictures done. I wouldn’t bring the little folder home. Senior year I discovered the glory of Photoshop and had them edit the hell out my face to smooth everything out and remove the shine.

When I first moved to NYC, and got my current job, my problem skin was still hounding me. It had cleared up a bit, but my face made me so self conscious. I didn’t really do makeup on my face, thinking that would make the problem worse. When you work as a make up artist, it’s hard to sell your services when you don’t bother to put any on yourself, right?

Yeah.

So, one of the vendors came to me at work and brought me some of their product to try. After years of trying EVERYTHING (Proactiv is a waste of damn money in my humble opinion), I tried some fancy, new to me company called La Roche Posay.

Y’all. I texted my mother a pic of me and she wondered what the hell I’d been doing up here. My skin had never been that clear in…ever. I’d found my magic bullet.

I use Effaclar from La Roche Posay. It’s rare you’ll hear me talk about something I sell at work, because here and there I like to keep separate. But I love it so much I just have to share it. I use the Gel wash, toner (the regular one), Duo (best acne treatment ever!), and mattifying lotion. Lo these many years later, I still use it. I’m confident enough now to share all types of makeup free selfies on Instagram, and I took a favorite one without filters a while back:

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No eyebrows or anything! Just lip balm.

That’s my skin story, and trust me, it takes some diligence to keep my skin looking as good as it does. If you’re looking for a flawless makeup application, the first step is making sure your skin is on point. To that point, I have some suggestions for all skin types to keep your skin beautiful, or to even help you heal your face if it is as problematic as mine. Please know: there is a solution for every skin, even the most sensitive, acne prone face. It will take time and patience, but I’m telling you: your silver bullet is out there.

So, let’s get started.

The basics of a good regimen is all about cleansing, toning, treating, moisturizing, and sunscreen. No, just because you have melanin does NOT mean you don’t have to use sunscreen. Black folks have the highest rate of malignant sun cancer because we have this false sense of security. If you have skin, you need sunscreen. Period.

Now that’s off my chest:

Cleansing: You’ll need to pick something that’s for your skin type. If you aren’t sure what kind of skin you have, try this. Wash your face, and then leave it alone for a few hours after. Don’t moisturize or anything. Take note of how your skin feels after a while. Does it feel tight? Then it’s dry. Got an oil slick happening all over? Then you’re oily (that’s me.) Shiny on the forehead, nose, and chin while your cheeks feel like a desert? Then you’re combination. And if you don’t feel any way at all? Congrats! You’re normal. Oilier and combo skinned folks will love a gel cleanser, as it helps to remove the excess oil from the skin and give a squeaky clean. Drier folks will love cream cleansers or oil based cleansers. Normal skinned folks? Use whatever makes you feel the best.

As a part two to cleansing, you may want to do a scrub too. I will say that anyone who has a reaction to too much scrubbing shouldn’t use a mechanical scrub (that’s with scrubby bits) and should stick to a mild (emphasis on MILD) chemical exfoliant (like glycolic acid) instead. Whichever you use, keep it to twice a week at the most. You’ll find your moisturizers and treatments sink in better. My favorite is from Vera Moore Cosmetics…best scrub EVER, I swear!

Toner: Again, choose based on skin type. Also: don’t think you need to skip toner–this really helps to get the deep down dirt that cleansers can miss. I love the toner I use because it unblocks and tightens my pores as well as controls oil. Drier and normal skins will love a hydrating toner (yes, they exist!) because it helps keep your skin nice and supple.

Treatment: These are fun and vary depending on what you need! Ok, a treatment is anything from an acne treatment to an anti-aging serum. Depending on how much dedication you have to regimen, you can do as many or as few as you like. I stick to just one acne treatment for day, and an anti-aging serum at night. My current serum is from Lierac, and I love the radiance it gives.

Moisturizer: I switch this up depending on the season, and you may find you need to do the same. Warmer months call for a mattifying lotion (I use this one) and colder months I love something with a little more moisture. I switch this up every year, and I’m loving this one from Lierac right now. And again, sunscreen! Pick a moisturizer with a sunscreen and save a step.

Bonus: I like to treat my face once a week to a mask, and I say pick a mask depending on what you need most: whether its radiance or clarifying, it’s a nice treat for your face and some well deserved self care.

If you’re not certain what brands you should try, I suggest putting some money into a subscription box to try different companies. I’ve done Glossybox in the past, and I’m looking to try the Essence Beauty Box soon.

In future posts, I will explore more of the favorite brands I love, and not just the high end stuff. Don’t worry, there’s some good stuff right in the drugstore you’re looking over, and I’m bringing that to you next week. Any questions on regimens? Leave them for me in the comments below or tweet them to me!

 

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Fatshion Friday: What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

I certainly hope you’ll be getting all dolled up and going out for the night! I know I am.

January 1, 2015 I was happily dancing away in a club with my friends, and I’m looking to do that all over again. Now, I told y’all about all my mishaps getting my outfit. This year, I’ve planned way better…I have my outfit already! At least, I have the basics already: I’m doing a romper, tights, and red heels. All I need now are accessories, and next Friday I’ll have a post at the ready with some great ideas for finishing off your look.

But, you need to have the look first, right? Let me show you some of my ideas for an awesome night out at any budget!

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From Ashley Stewart.

I have come a long way from that girl who refused to do a romper or a jumpsuit. I didn’t think they worked for my body type because I carry most of my weight in my belly. Key here is fit. Take the time to try it out if you can, or make sure that there’s some stretch in it if you have to get it online. This look appeals to my practical side (what if I want to twerk a little? Now I’m not gonna be overexposed!) and to my sexy side (love the cut and sparkle). Because I like to define my waist, I’d do a belt with it, but do whatever makes you the most comfortable and makes you feel the most gorgeous.

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From ASOS.

If I had to choose between a romper or a jumpsuit, I’d likely pick the romper because I love my legs. They’re so shapely! πŸ˜€

Had to have a self-love moment. Sorry, not sorry. πŸ™‚

I love this because of the embroidery. Because it’s mixed metallics, you could do gold or silver (or both!) jewels with this and a bold shoe. I mean, what better time to sparkle than New Year’s, right?

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From Monif C.

Ok, so maybe the soiree you’re attending doesn’t call for glitz and glam. Or, maybe you’re just not that into sparkle. I love this piece because it can be glammed up or left as is for a subtle elegance that looks good no matter the venue. A statement necklace and a nice heel is all you need to make this complete.

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From Monif C.

Does your night out call for all over sparkle? (Yep, I work in extremes, folks! :D) This dress is perfect. Beautiful cut and enough glittery happiness that calls for minimal extras outside of a nice heel and clutch. I’m all about easy!

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From Jibri.

In need of something dramatic? Bring it on with this number. I don’t normally go for sheer paneling, but I have to say I love how it just gives a little extra coverage without being too heavy. I’d do a metallic shoe and bangles with this because I believe more is more, but styling as seen in the pic is perfect for just enough drama for the evening.

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From Eloquii.

Oh, this dress. Story time!

I had every intention of purchasing this dress for New Year’s, right? I’d planned out the accessories (I was gonna add a bow tie and do red shoes) and everything, and put it in my cart. Y’all. By the time I’d gotten a chance to sign in and place the order, it was all sold out. I stalked the site for a few days, but usually when an item is gone from Eloquii, it’s gone. I sniffled a bit and found something else I liked, and ordered it.

And then…it came back in stock. During a non-pay week, and I’m flying out of town soon.

Sigh.

Oh, well. There’s no reason y’all can’t reap the benefits of the restock! You could style it as I described above, dress it down with a jeweled oxford, throw on some tights and a brightly colored pump, whatever! I love this dress just for its versatility.

And there you have it! My picks for a beautiful and stylish New Year. Next week, I’m going to talk about shoes and accessories for the big night. Happy Weekend!

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Halloween Costumes for the Curvy Girl

Halloween is coming. Do you have your costume yet?

No?

Well. I’m here to help. I’ve said before how much I adore Halloween because of being able to dress up as someone/something else for the night. I still haven’t quite decided what I want to be (and the clock is winding down), but I’m here to remind you that you don’t have to break the bank for a good costume if you don’t want to.

Seriously.

Take my costume last year, for example. We were allowed to dress up at work, and so I wanted to do something safe for work, but still show off my skills. I decided to go as a butterfly garden.

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I didn’t spend any money for this costume!

Everything I wore for this look was in my closet: flower dress, flower necklace, owl earrings. The wings there are printer paper and are stuck on with eyelash glue (get the full story on the look in this post.) It was easy and it looked really good for a last minute idea. πŸ™‚

In that same vein, you’ll find some of the best inspiration in your closet. Ok, maybe you have a flower dress, but butterflies aren’t your thing. You could also add some wings and be a fairy, just add sparkly makeup. Plain dress? You could be any iteration of cat you can think of, or something else depending on the color of the dress. For example: yellow dress? Add a bow on your right side, and add black eyes and a mouth made of either felt or construction paper. You’re now Ms. Pac Man.

In fact, one of my favorite costume ideas is taking something you already have in the closet and doing some dramatic wigs and makeup to go with it. A couple of suggestions of YouTube tutorials:

I adore her work, and I’m trying to get to her level!

I’ve also seen the dots done with rhinestones instead…just another option. πŸ™‚

This look is similar to the one I did up there, just with flower petals instead of wings!

Would you rather purchase a costume? Makes sense. It’s a lot easier to a certain extent. Party City, Torrid, and Hips And Curves all have great costume ideas (not an exhaustive list) and rush shipping if you can’t get it in store. Here are a few of my favorites:

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From Party City. I have a Jack Skellington mug, so naturally this costume caught my eye.

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From Torrid. Have a more elegant party? Go as Loki and add some gold horns!

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From Hips and Curves, and my favorite! How fancy is this for a masquerade ball?

Whew! I could talk about fun costumes all day if you let me, but I’ll leave y’all to decide what catches your eye. Besides, I have to come to a decision on what I’m doing for Halloween myself. I’m thinking something with spiders.

See you Friday!

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Fatshion Sunday: Which Do I Pick?

So, bonus story time!

I was out with one of my very good friends, helping her find an outfit for her dissertation defense. We ultimately decide to stop off at Lane Bryant (the huge one on 34th and 8th) Now, we’re looking at things, trying to find something that matched her aesthetic, and two lovely associates came into the dressing room to help us out.

We end up settling on this awesome backless lace top and skirt combo that is everything and the next thing I know…

“Why don’t you try on some things?”

Now wait. I am NOT here to shop for me! But then he starts bringing me clothes and helping me put together outfits and…

Well…

I do have NYFW+ coming up and I need some outfits for the shows…

Sigh.

I fell for it.

So here’s the thing: I can’t afford ALL Β of the things, but I damn sure know I have to get some of them! So I need y’all, my wonderful readers, to help me pick an outfit! Here are the contenders:

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Option A.

Jacket (coming soon!)/Skinny Jeans/Shoes

I’m not normally a jeans girl, but these skinnies are EVERYTHING. If you want as close a fit as mine, go down a size (they’re super stretchy). The coat was our lovely stylist’s idea; cause I never would have picked it out! But I do like it.

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Option B

Ruana/Skirt/Shoes

So I’m wearing a poncho as a top. And it’s comfy! The shoes hands down have to be my favorite part of this outfit, and the heels aren’t too high. And there’s cushion!

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Option C

Jacket/Tank/Jeans

So, I already bought these shoes (they were on sale!) The jacket is my favorite part of this outfit (size up if you have larger arms like me, as there is little stretch) The jeans were comfy, but I prefer a plainer jean (yes, that’s right!) I adore sparkle, I just wasn’t such a fan of the embellishments here.

Can y’all see the bind I’m in? I want so many pieces, but the way my bank account is set up…

So, I hand it over to y’all. Help, please? Which do you like? Comment and let me know!

Super special shout out to the crew at the 34th and 8th Lane Bryant for styling help and picture snapping! They’re awesome; go see them if you come to visit!

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Fatshion Friday: Bathing Beauties

As you read this, I’m still throwing things in a bag for vacation.

Why yes, I told y’all I was prepping for this two weeks ago, and I’m still not done. Please don’t judge me!

πŸ˜€

Anyway.

In celebration of me making the move to a warmer climate for a few days, I thought I’d put together a lookbook of some of the best styles I’ve seen so far. I was never really a bathing suit girl; deciding for the most part to stick with a tank and shorts. Coupled with the fact that I can’t swim, I figured there was no real need for a suit.

Well, lo these many years later, and I still can’t swim, but I love the beach, swimming pool (the shallow end), and hot tubs. I also have discovered how much I love being as close to naked as I can get in public, so bathing suits are a must. I shared a while ago one of the suits I’m bringing with me on my trip, and now I’m going to show you some other options.

Let’s get to it!

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From Swimsuits For All.

I prefer suits that are not basic black. In fact, if I can find it in as many loud colors as possible, it’s probably going to go home with me. I also prefer a top with some support, particularly because my boobs aren’t that big. If they aren’t big, they’re at least gonna sit up high–so this suit fits the bill! Bonus: it comes as a set (!!!!) and you can order different sizes for the top and bottom for the perfect fit. I actually have the one piece version of this, but sadly, it’s sold out (can’t even find it online anymore!)

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From Forever 21.

Like your suit strapless? This will be spectacular for you! I also love the peplum because this helps to add a little more camouflage to the belly if that’s your preference.

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From Swimsuits For All.

This colorful number has all of the straps and all of the colors. There’s a two piece version of this suit, which you can find here. I can’t decide which style I want, but this pattern is next on the list!

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From Forever 21. Top and Bottom sold separately.

Doesn’t this look like some fancy lingerie? That’s what initially drew me to this set. It’s beautiful and strappy, and even though you have to purchase each piece separately it isn’t ridiculously priced.

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From Monif C.

Hello, gorgeous! This would be my pool party suit–do you see how fierce she looks with those heels? OMG. I’d be working the party and you couldn’t tell me a thing! And I’d be sipping my drink while I sashayed, honey.

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From Ashley Stewart.

And what’s a post on bathing suits without something pretty to cover them up? I know, your bathing suit is fierce, but you may not want to wear it out to brunch. This pretty number keeps you pretty and covered till it’s time to strip back down and lay on the sand.

And there you have it! Some of the suits I’m loving for the season. Here’s a question for y’all: bikini or one piece? Tweet me @fashion_amateur with your answers!

Happy Weekend!

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