Thursday, April 21, 2011

Double Post! The Shoe Review and Fa(t)shion Friday!

The Shoe: Fioni Barbie Shoes, Sz. 10
The Store: Payless
The Price: $18 USD

These shoes are a staple of my "interesting items" wardrobe - you know, those items you wear out specifically as a point of conversation. Although I cant wear them all the time, I love them for a good night out.

Pros: Unique color, Grippy Heels, Pointed toe doesn't pinch.
Unlike most heels, what I love love love about these, is the heel/pad of the foot is made of a grippy rubbery material, so you don't accidentally slip on slick surfaces. You have NO IDEA how wonderful this is, and honestly, I dont know why more heels dont use this. The color is what truly grabbed me though. Lets face it, I have probably 10 pairs of black heels for every occasion, but I love these more than all of those combined, simply because they're so different from every thing else I have. The toe of these heels, although pointed, isn't so narrow that it pinches your toes. Happy toes = happy feet.

Cons: Heel Height/Width.
I can't be the only person out there that has trouble walking in heels, otherwise I don't think they'd make thick heels, or kitten heels. These are probably the thinnest heels I'd wear without worrying they're going to snap off. (Okay, I still worry, but that's besides the point).

The Verdict:
If these shoes had been more expensive, I probably wouldn't have bought them, simply because I have a hard time walking in them. I love the color though, so, for this time atleast, I couldn't pass them up.


The Clothes: Floral Wrap Dress, Sz. 2X
The Store: Fashion Bug (USA)
The Price: $20 USD

Pros: Hides imperfections, modest length, two ways to wear it.
When I first bought this dress, I was a little apprehensive, because I'd never owned a *real* wrap dress, and I was worried something might happen and my dress would accidentally come undone, and I'd flash someone (or some other nonsense). None of this has ever happened, and honestly, now I know its kind of silly of me to have thought this. I like that this dress hits just below the knee on me, and makes for a nice, modest Easter/family gathering type dress. Its quick to slip on and go, and the all over floral pattern works wonders to hide any little lumps and bumps. I found two ways to wear it - as shown in the first picture, tied to the side, or after I lost a little weight, I found I could tie it all the way around my waist to define it a bit more.

Cons: Low cut when worn as shown.
My one real gripe with this dress is, being bigger busted, my bras come up rather high on the chest, making v-neck, and low cut things hard to wear. As was expected, this didn't come up high enough to cover the top of my bra, and I ended up having to pin it in the middle, to keep it from gaping and showing my bra.

The Verdict:
This dress is getting a bit too big on me, which sadly means I'll probably have to get rid of it soon, but given the chance, I'd buy it again (especially if I could find it in a size smaller this time around). I love it for when I want to quick slip on something nice looking to go out, or for a day when I just feel like wearing a cute, springy outfit.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Makeup Monday: Maybelline Volume XL Seduction Lip Plumper

The Makeup: Maybelline Volume XL Seduction Lip Plumper, Born With It (105)
The Store: Walmart (available in most beauty stores)
The Price: $8 CAD

Make your lips up to 30% bigger with Maybelline Volume Seduction Lip Plumper. Feel a tingling effect as active amplifiers instantly plump lips for a visibly fuller pout . Available in 10 seductive shades. Not recommended for sensitive lips.

Pros: High shine, Non-sticky gloss.
I didnt realize this was a plumping gloss when I first bought it - all I saw was the picture on the display - and I thought to myself, "Wow! That is some seriously shiny gloss!". I immediate snapped it up and ran off to try it. I have to say, its everything I expected - beautifully shiny, a slew of colors to choose from, and unlike most high shine glosses, it isnt so sticky that I feel like my lips are glued together.

Cons: Uncomfortable tingling, Effect wears off quickly.
Being a "plumping" gloss, it uses a stinging agent, such as cayenne pepper to force a mild allergic reaction, which causes the area to swell, and therefor makes your lips look more plump then usual - but as with most allergic reactions, your body overcomes this quickly, and the effect wears off. You have to keep reapplying, which to be honest is uncomfortable.

The Verdict:
If I wanted a plumping gloss, I might be disappointed, but as I was just going for the shine, I am a happy camper. I bought this gloss in Born With It (105), and Fully blushed (115).

Buy Online at Ulta Beauty

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fa(t)shion Friday: Va-Va-Voom

The Clothes: Red Halter Dress, Sz 16
The Store: Ricki's (Canada)
The Price: $30 CAD (Originally $130 CAD)

This dress is one of the reasons I am a complete advocate of getting store discount cards - especially if they're free. If you don't use them, no big deal, and if you do use them, you can get some pretty amazing returns. This particular instance was that Ricki's was having a 50% off sale, and it opened a day early for members (Nothing picked over yet!), I also had a coupon for $25 off, when you spend $75 or more (cheap accessory to cover that price), and another $20 off coupon for my birthday. Right place, right time? Yes, I think so.

Pros: Hugs your curves, Gorgeous color.
Let me start off by saying, as soon as I walked in the store, this dress was like a neon-flashing light to me. Something in my brain clicked on and said "look at the pretty color!". Its hard to see from the picture, but the dress is ruby-red, with a gold undertone. In addition to being really pleasing to the eyes, the gold reflects on your skin, making you look like you have a nice healthy golden glow (which is amazing because I am pasty right now!!). The fabric has a subtle stretch to it, which is great because it hugs your curves, and kind of makes you look like a 40's starlet. Va-va-voom!

Cons: Poly-blend fabric.
I dont know what it is about poly-blend fabrics, but I HATE the feeling. This stuff feels like windbreaker material to be, which is a huge downfall, but at the same time I love the dress itself so much that I am willing to ignore it for an evening out.

The Verdict:
I needed a party dress, and I happened to find a gorgeous dress for less than most cheap articles of clothing. This was a definite buy for me (I am sure I'll find another reson to wear this gorgeous dress too!!).

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Shoe Review: Mossimo Gold Heels

The Shoe: Mossimo Gold Heels, Sz, 11
The Store: Goodwill
The Price: $6 USD

In my travels, I've found that Brand name stores (such as Target) will donate BRAND NEW, unsold items to thrift stores like Goodwill or Salvation Army. It could be because its a style that just didn't sell well, or in this case sizes that didn't sell (usually larger like Sz. 10-11, or smaller, Sz. 5-6). With shoes - in North America, there are two standards of sizing, which vary about a half size from each other. Much like with clothes, if they don't have your size, you may want to try the next size up or down from what you normally wear, because it may end up fitting you anyway.

Pros: Comfortable, Flattering style.
I'm not going to lie, when I bought these, it was for looks alone, but i soon found out they were more than just a pretty shoe. The patten on the top creates a bit of an optical illusion, and even though they are a size 11, with a low heel...they dont make my feet look like I'm wearing clown shoes. Thats a pretty big plus for me since, lets face it, I have huge, wide feet. The pad of the shoe is also wider (no squished toes!) and slightly padded for a more comfortable walking experience.

Cons: Not true to size, thin heel.
These shoes aren't true to size, and if you ordered them offline by number alone, you might end up with something you didnt want. However, size is just a number and if you read measurements this shouldn't be a problem. My one real gripe with this pretty shoe is that the heels don't feel particularly sturdy - in higher-end shoes, heels are often reinforced with a small metal rod that is securely attached to the rest of the shoe. However, this is not a high-end brand, and I get the feeling this heel couldn't take a lot of abuse. Not that you should abuse your heels anyway...

The Verdict:
For $6, I'd buy them again. I love the way they looks, and I'm willing to forgive the fact that they're not-so-sturdy.

Buy similar style online at (available in Silver, White, Brown, and Black)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Makeup Monday: Maybelline Express Finish Nail Color

The Makeup: Maybelline Express Finish Nail Color, in Red Comet (180)
The Store: Meijer's (available in most beauty stores)
The Price: $3.50 USD

QUICK-DRY NAIL COLOR Wet to Set in 50 Seconds
ADVANCED WEAR® anti-chip color

Pros: Dries quickly, Comes off easily.
When Maybelline says this polish is quick drying, they mean it. I dont know if it really was 50 seconds, but it was rather fast - which turns out to be a good thing, because I had to put 3-4 coats on to achieve some semblance of the color this polish is supposed to be. As noted later on, I chipped this polish pretty quick, but luckily it comes off rather easily with polish remover. Most red polishes tend to temporarily stain your nails, and glitter polishes tend to be very difficult to remove at all, and leave left over specks of glitter behind, but this color came off rather cleanly overall.

Cons: Chip Resistant? Color is prettier in the bottle.
Chip resistant MY BUTT. I managed to chip about half the polish off in one go just putting on my dress this morning. So, if you plan on wearing it out ...paint your nails after you're already dressed. I know I am hard on my nails, but that was a bit ridiculous!! The polish color is close, but not as true a red as it looks in the bottle. It tends to look a bit more berry-red on the nails, which left me a bit disappointed. The more coats you put on the closer the polish looks to the bottle color, but after 4 coats of polish, you nails start to feel too "built up".

The Verdict:
I liked the color enough to spend $3.50 on it, but I've honestly found better nail polishes at the dollar store, so I thick thats what I'll stick to in this case. I imagine if I would have used a topcoat it would have been a bit stronger, but my nails were already feeling mucky, and I didnt want to add any more layers to it.

Buy Online at

Friday, April 8, 2011

Fa(t)shion Friday: Work Appropriate Week

The Clothes: Michel Anton Pintuck Dress, Sz 16W
The Store: AdditiionElle
The Price: $20 CAD (Originally $150 CAD)

Pros: Pintuck detailing, Neutral color, Flattering length, Sturdy construction.
For a work-safe dress, this is about as good as they come. This neutral grey dress hits just above the knee, which is neither too short as to look "sexy", nor too long making you look frumpy and outdated. It has a very sturdy construction, and some eye-catching pintuck detailing at the bust. The neutral color leaves for plenty of opportunity to pair with a dash of color to keep the look fresh and in tune with the season's current fashions.

Cons: Heavy weight fabric, Short sleeves.
In the middle of winter, having a heavy-weight fabric seems like a good idea, but even for winter it does tend to be a bit warm. Inversely, it has very short sleeves, which leave you both overheating AND freezing in the cold weather months.

The Verdict:
At the original price, I probably would have passed this dress by, but I caught the right sale at the right time, and I am willing to spend $20 on a nice work-appropriate dress. Overall, I would probably pass this store by - unless, as stated before, I find the right sale.

Shop Online at AdditionElle

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Shoe Review: Lower East Side Kimberly Pumps

Okay, so by no fault of my own, blogger was having issues yesterday, and wouldn't let me post. I had everything ready for you guys,and made sure to do my post extra early before I had to leave.....aaaaand blogger ate my post. Poof, gone. So here is my second attempt at this post, and it better work this time *shakefist*

The Shoe: Lower East Side Kimberly Pumps, Black, Sz. 9W
The Store: Payless
The Price: $20 CAD

Pros: Comfortable heel, Straight and wide-width, Common colors.
As previously mentioned, I suck at trying to walk in heels, one because I am just too unsteady, but also because the height tends to hurt my feet. These pumps are a wonderful marriage between wearing heels, and still being able to walk without breaking my ankle. The round toe leaves plenty of space which means no squashed toes, and miraculously, it comes in wide-widths too! The color selection is limited to Brown and Black, but as far as leather shoes go, they are the staples of a wardrobe.

Cons: Wide-width, certain colors not always available.
When I first got these pumps (9W black) I immediately wore them the next day, and after discovering I could wear them for an entire day without my feet killing me, I immediately went back to get a pair in brown. How surprised I was to learn that they dont carry wide width for the brown shoes (which makes no sense at all to me). In fact, Payless is a bit weird - in store they sell these heels in both brown and black, and wide widths (even sizes only, I believe), but they dont even offer brown as an option at all on their website. Usually its the opposite for most sites (carrying a larger selection online).

The Verdict:

I love these shoes, I'd recommend them to anyone, and even though they didnt have wide-width sizes in brown, I bought them anyway in a half size up.

Buy Online or In-store at Payless

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My Favorite Things (Tips & Tricks)

I have to warn you, shopping on the cheap isn't for the faint of heart, its time intensive, and a lot of work (and thats *before* trying to put an outfit together). But, I do what I can to help out, so here are some tips, tricks, and a few of my favorite resources (not all are "cheap/discount" but have good sales).

General clothing tips:
-The general rule for dressing is that you want to mimic an hourglass figure, so that your top and bottom half are in proportion.
-Dark wash jeans are flattering to curvaceous girls, especially pear and hourglass shaped ladies.
-Wear light/bright colors on what you want to emphasize, and dark colors on what you want to de-emphasize.
-If it doesnt have darts/seaming, dont buy it. 9/10 it will end up looking like a muumuu on you because the clothing won't fit your shape.

Tips for buying/acquiring clothing:
-Does your friend own a item of clothing you absolutely love? Try bartering for it. Offer a trade they may like from your own closet, or buy it at a discount (especially if they've worn it a few times, or its now out of season).
-Always check sales racks. If they don't have your size, try the size above, and a size below. Because of vanity sizing, the store's clothing sizes may not be the same as your true size.
-Most stores offer (FREE) discount cards, or if you sign up for their newsletters, they give you advance notice of sales, or sometimes members only sales (not too mention the discount you'll already be getting from the member's oard!).
-Thrift stores and bag sales are excellent places to shop for classic or vintage items. Dont spend a fortune on dress pants, when you may be able to find some in thrift (dress pants rarely come in colors other than a classic black, brown, grey, or navy).
-For buying new clothing, if it isn't a store brand, take down the product info, and search for it online. You can often find it much cheaper, but be wary of shipping, and factor it in to the price, otherwise you'll be in for a surprise!!
-Online, if a normal price seems too good to be true, it usually is. If you get stuck in a situation where the company isn't compliant after you've ordered, contact your local, and the company's local Better Business Bureau. They will often begin to comply just so the BBB doesn't get involved.

My favorite overall clothing store:
Fashion Bug / Lane Bryant

Other clothing stores:
Additionelle / Penningtons
Forever 21+
ASOS Curve
City Chic
eShakti Clothing

My favorite corset/lingerie store:
Wedding Checklist
(highly recommended, I have bought from them a few times, excellent service)

Other corset/lingerie shops:
Hips and Curves
Corset Wholesale
Big Gals Lingerie

Other clothing:

We Love Color
Plus Sized Qipao/Chengosam (check ALL, not just plus sized category)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Makeup Monday: Covergirl Eye Enhancers 4KT

The Makeup: Covergirl Eye Enhancers 4KT, Sheerly Nude (265)
The Store: Walmart (available in most beauty stores)
The Price: $7 CAD

This collection of great shades is hand-picked by our make-up pros and designed to help make your eye look go from day to night. They blend effortlessly to bring your eyes out beautifully, without overshadowing. Experiment using them together or as single shades.

Pros: Neutral tone works for almost everyone, Blends well, Multiple uses.

I picked this palette to review for you because it is my absolute favorite out of all the makeup I own for daily wear. The neutral colors work for almost every skin tone, and it applies beautifully for a nice work-appropriate/natural beauty look. I cant say this about *all* of the Covergirl palettes, but the colors chosen for this are well picked to blend beautifully. There are two "matte" shades, and two "shimmer" shades included. Aside from the obvious use for the eyeshadow, I find the darkest brown color works well as a brow filler for light colored or sparse eyebrows as well.

Cons: Sparkles EVERYWHERE.
I know this is a shimmer eyeshadow, but I have never seen one that gets little sparkles everywhere as much as this one. I use clean brushes, I try not to get any excess shadow where it shouldn't be, and I still manage to get sparkles everywhere. I usually take a small fan brush and sweep it away afterwards, but some of the sparkle remains (as you can see from the picture).

The Verdict:
For how often I use this, how well it works, and how little it costs, I would recommend this to anyone. If the color doesn't fit your skin tone exactly, Covergirl carries a few similar palettes in slightly different neutral colors.

Covergirl Eye Enhancers 4KT (Color Chart)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Fa(t)shion Friday: Fashion Bug Print Emma Dress

The Clothes: Fashion Bug Print Emma Dress, Sz XL (S-3X)
The Store: Fashion Bug
The Price: $12 USD

Rehash Review, Pt. 2:
This week's reviews are all about rehashes. Favorite store had the most amazing fitting shoe or dress, but sold out before you could buy it? Never fear! Stores often use the same design, but update the pattern each season to match whatever the trend happens to be in style at the time. This is especially handy if you found something that fits amazingly, or, if you happened to have loved that article so much you wore it out and now need a replacement.

Pros: Flattering cut, Pattern hides "bumps".
I love the cut of this cute little spring dress. When worn where I wear it, it has a nice band under the bust that ties in the back to accent the waist, and some sliight ruching on the bust for added detail.

Have you ever stared at those "optical illusions" pictures trying to find a boat or whatever, and never did actually find it? The print on this dress is a lot like that. It seems to make all the little lumps, bumps, and lines disappear like magic, which is kind of nice when you have some pudge you aren't quite happy with.

Cons: Needs a roomier bust, Skirt needs to be longer.
I'm looking at the product pictures, and I see how they are wearing this dress, but thats just not how you're actually going to try and wear it in real life. You're going to try and wear the dress so the band sits under your breasts. And because of this, there isn't going to be enough fabric on top to cover your bra if you're wearing a "full cup" bra. As it is, it barely covers my lowest cut bra, simply because of my ample boobage. The skirt on this dress barely skims my knees, which for people taller than myself might be a pretty big problem since I'm on the short side.

The Verdict:
I like this dress, I'm willing to put up with my tiny annoyances with it. Its probably a better fit for someone sporting a smaller bust size than H. I like the patterns, I wish I would have gotten this dress in black when I had the chance though.

Buy Online and In-store at Fashion Bug

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Shoe Review: American Eagle Sweetpea Canvas Wedges

The Shoe: American Eagle Sweetpea Canvas Wedge, White Sz. 9W
The Store: Payless
The Price: $14 USD

This week's reviews are all about rehashes. Favorite store had the most amazing fitting shoe or dress, but sold out before you could buy it? Never fear! Stores often use the same design, but update the pattern each season to match whatever the trend happens to be in style at the time. This is especially handy if you found something that fits amazingly, or, if you happened to have loved that article so much you wore it out and now need a replacement.

Pros: Versatile with many outfits, Available in wide-width, Mid-height wedge.
These are probably my favorite summer shoes, simply because they go with almost everything. Last summer's (or maybe the summer before that?)'s version had a kind of bow on the top, this summer has a little flower. Aside from those differences, let me assure you, they are the exact same shoe, same fit and all. The Sweetpea Wedge is available in 5 colors, and wide- and regular-width. Its 3.5" wedge heel with slight platform is neither so high, nor so heavy that it makes the wedge feel "clunky", and is a great choice for girls like myself who like heels, but are a bit unsteady in them.

Cons: ?
Honestly, I sat here for a good while and I couldnt think of anything I don't like about these wedges. I can't sing it's praises enough. The peep toe opening doesn't squash your toes, the sling back doesn't rub your heel raw. And there's enough cute colors to satisfy almost every taste.

The Verdict:
If the shoe fits, but it in every color. Or so a wise woman once said. I may have to pick up another pair of these simply because my other wedges are starting to wear out. I think I may want to pick up the berry color ones as well!!

Buy Online or In-store at Payless

Monday, March 28, 2011

Makeup Monday: Maybelline Falsies Mascara

The Makeup: Maybelline Volum' Express The Falsies (Washable), in Very Black
The Store: Walmart (available in most beauty stores)
The Price: $8 CAD

(Without, and with Falsies mascara)

False lash glam, instantly!
• Patented Spoon Brush fans out lashes from corner-to-corner, while our Pro-Keratin formula instantly builds volume without clumping
• Unique flexible wand helps to lift and separate lashes to provide the look of 300% more visible, fuller lashes, no gaps from any angle
• Contact lens safe and ophthalmologist-tested
• Washable, also available in Waterproof formula

Pros: Coats individual lashes, Washable.
As a general rule, the smaller the mascara brush, the easier it is to get even the smallest lashes, but for some reason the large curved brush that Volum' Express Falsies provided worked just as well. Immediately after putting this mascara on, I have to say I was really pleased with the look. It evenly coated even my thin bottom lashes, and even lightly curled and coated my decidedly straight upper lashes. What I liked most is that although it added volume, it didnt make my lashes look really clumpy (we've all seen those women who look like they have 6 lashes), which is definitely a bonus.

Cons: Starts flaking after a few hours, Irritating to eyes, Doesn't come close to false lash look..
The Falsies mascara is unfortunately pretty flaky, and I might go so far as saying its the flakiest I've ever bought. I dont think it survived 5 hours, which left me a bit disappointed. Also, although Maybelline says its contact lens safe and ophthalmologist-tested - its *really* irritating if you happen to rub your eyes. Although the mascara coats your lashes really well, it doesn't come remotely close to looking like you're wearing false lashes. I didnt really expect it would, but I hate when companies make really unrealistic claims.

The Verdict:
I'm coming to the conclusion that washable mascara's are a waste of money. I do like this mascara, and what it does for my lashes, but in my experience you should always go for the waterproof version of a mascara if its available.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Fa(t)shion Friday: Ricki's Asymmetrical Dress

The Clothes: Ricki's Asymmetrical Azure Dress, XL
The Store: Ricki's (Canada)
The Price: $15 CAD (Originally $90)

Pros: 80's throwback style, Cute included belt, Sturdy construction.
This dress immediately caught my attention because it was so different from everything else I have seen recently - although there is an 80's style revival going on, its mainly been things such as leggings, flats, and certain colors - so seeing a retro styled dress was a pretty big treat for me. The fabric is a middle-weight knit, and is also lined, which is a nice touch as I dont think many women own nice slips anymore. The dress also comes with a nice stretch belt to accent the waist (I used this belt for many, many different outfits).

Cons: Not a "fat-friendly" line, Cut feels lopsided.

I love Ricki's, it is by far my favorite clothing store, but they aren't really all that fat friendly. They carry sizes 0-18 (plus size being an XL/Size 16), so plus sizes are very underrepresented here. If they were to expand their line, I am sure they'd have plus sized ladies lining up around the block, because they have good looking, well made clothes. More often than not, they have very well cut clothing, that they subtly tailor for each size up - however, this is not the case with this dress. It has no darts, or tucks around the bust, and the only stitching was at the shoulder, which made for some...strange pleating that makes the dress feel lopsided.

The Verdict:
The more I've worn this dress, the less I like it, but inversely, I love the belt that came with it, which I would have paid $15 for on its own. I switch it up with most of my outfits - so it was a good buy for me. I guess I just consider the dress a bonus, and I may keep it around for a retro night.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Measuring Guide

First and foremost, one of the things a person should never be without (regardless of their size) is a measuring tape. The reason for this being that most brands have what we call "vanity sizing" (a ploy from stores to make customers feel better, and therefore shop at their stores more than their competitors) - So even though you may truly be a size 16, in some stores you may be a 14, or even a 12 in vanity sizes.

DO NOT FALL FOR THIS TRICK. Learn your true size that way you aren't crushed when you find out your size is a lot larger than you may have thought it was. Its just a number, and it isn't changing your actual size. Rather than trying to squeeze yourself in to a smaller outfit and end up looking terrible, know your true measurement and avoid this problem all together.

The second reason for knowing your measurements is for ease of buying - More often than not, brands carry what they call "Extended sizes" (ie. plus sizes) online only. Without being able to try these things on, the only thing you have to go on is measuring charts.

For ease of measurement, have someone help measure you (boyfriend/husband, mom/sister), because trying to self-measure is difficult. If you do try and measure your self, I recommend adding an extra inch to the measurement. To begin, wear a comfortable every-day bra and panties. No shapewear, no minimizing bra, and definitely no push-up bras! All of those things will give you incorrect measurements. To measure, keep the tape level, and taut, but not so tight that you're "squeezing" anything.

Place the tape measure just under your armpits and measure across the fullest part of your breasts (usually level with your nipples).

This measurement is important if you're trying to fit for a bra. Measure just under your breasts (on your ribcage).

Doing a write up on bra's would be a completely separate entry, so I will link a guide I found to be quite accurate and informative, since they have all of the bases covered.
007 Bras

Traditionally, this is measured at your "narrowest point", but for plus sized ladies, your narrowest point is often your ribcage. So, for the waist measurement, I recommend measuring across your belly button.

Measure the widest part of your lower half. For me, this fell across the lower part of my stomach (just above my butt); but for others the widest part may be across your butt and thighs.

This is important to know for measuring pants. Starting at your crotch, measure all the way to the floor.
If you wear heels with your pants, measure with your heels on, to just above the floor. You want your pants to hit just above the heel, so you wont tread on the fabric.

**Addendum from my mother, the seamstress: "Also measure for pants by the outseam. Just in case the crotch is longer or shorter, the outside seam is a good measurement." (Referring to the RISE of the pants).**

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Shoe Review: Aldo Gold Twist Flats

The Shoe: Aldo "Twist" flat in Gold, Sz 9
The Store: Value Village
The Price: $8 CAD

Pros: Cheap price, Gorgeous shoe, Good brand.
Buying from a thrift store occasionally yields incredible results - and this was one of those times. The regular retail of these shoes is around $50-70, and finding these in fantastic condition for $8 is a steal. These particular ones stood out like a beacon of light beckoning me to them, and after seeing the size, I immediately put them in my cart (I should have tried them on, but thats a different story). The shoe itself, although it has a cloth-type upper, is very solidly constructed, with a thick sole, and tiny kitten heel.

Cons: Narrow pointed toe, D'orsay style.
Being as I didn't try these on before I bought them, I didnt have a chance to find out that the pad of this shoe is a bit on the narrow side, which caused my toes to be squished like sardines. Also, the fact that these are flats with a D'orsay style (side cut out) is not a plus to me. I like the style just fine, but living in the land of the frozen North, you tend to want shoes that cover your feet well, lest you get snow in your shoe!!

The Verdict:
Although these are very pretty flats, I made a snap decision to buy them, and think I will be weeding them out of my closet soon. I know I'll end up repeating this a few times, but always try things on!! (I let shoes be my exception usually since the size range doesn't vary dramatically).

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Makeup: Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Liner, in Blackest Black
The Store: Walmart (available in most beauty stores)
The Price: $10 CAD

Maybelline Lasting Drama is:
Oil-free formula holds highly concentrated pigments in a clear gel base
• Smudge-proof and waterproof for 24 hours
• Most intense line for lasting drama
• Safe for sensitive eyes and ophthalmologist-tested
• Contact lens safe

Pro's: *Very* long lasting wear, Highly pigmented color, Included brush, Non-irritating.
When they say this product lasts 24 hours...thats a bit of an understatement - for me it was closer to 48 hours. It does come off with makeup wipes, but during the process your eyes end up looking like an emo kid with non-waterproof mascara. So, for personal preference, I like to take a q-tip to it on day 2 (to remove the excess smudged liner), and it leaves a nice filled in look on your lash line. The best part about this liner is if you rub your eyes and some of the liner gets in them, it won't irritate the hell out of them (I have extremely sensitive eyes, so this is a HUGE bonus).

The gel liner comes with a handy little liner brush, which compared to most "included" applicators actually works pretty well. The Lasting drama liner glides on really smoothly, and the color is incredibly dark and pigmented, which is perfect for pictures where you want your makeup to actually show up.

Cons: Hard to get off, Limited color range.
I really wish this liner came in more than 4 colors (Black, brown, charcoal, and eggplant), but that being said, they have the basic colors covered at the very least. In the future, I'm hoping they make a lighter shade of black, because as much as I love Blackest Black, it isn't meant to be "everyday wear" makeup. And as stated before, this stuff isn't easy to take off, but that can also be a positive, depending on how you look at it.

Most people wont need a product like this, but its one of my absolute favorites, so I would definitely recommend it if you have a need for it, or even just like playing with makeup. Kudo's to Maybelline for living up to the product claims as well.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Fa(t)shion Friday: Going Out

*Puts on blindfold and waits for gunfire* I've only had this blog two weeks, and I've already managed to have a late post - so go ahead and shoot me. I got so caught up being busy the last two days (I've literally not been home at all) that I completely forgot to set up my Friday post ahead of time. The good news is I'll post about what I wore last night, since I think I was going to post about it soon anyway - and since its late I'll do two articles of clothing (and they go together anyway....).

Jon and me being dorks at a Royksopp concert last night (AMAZING, btw).

The Clothes: Canyon Blues Cowl-neck Sweater Dress, B.L.E.U. Leggings
The Store: Sears
The Price: $12 USD (or $8 and $4, respectively)

Pro's: Stretchy leggings, *Very* cheap, Easy to mix and match, Dress was true to size.
Although the leggings only go to size XL, I'd say you could easily fit up to a petite 2X (seriously, the waist touches the band on my bra...built in tummy tucker...yay?). At full price the leggings were only $10, and they go with pretty much everything, so thats a purchase I can get behind! The dress was a true XL (careful, the arms might be a bit tight), but being so short, I can sometimes get away with wearing that size.

Cons: Small size range, wears out quickly.
XL was the the largest size I found for both brands. The dress didn't have a ton of stretch to it, whereas the leggings were the complete opposite. Both articles were cheap quality, and are starting to pill after 3 wearings now.

The Verdict:

Sometimes when you buy cheap, you get cheap, which is what both of these pieces are, but for the price and the soon to be changing clothing season, thats something I'm willing to sacrifice $12 to. Neither are still available online, but may be found in store still at Sears (in the discount racks).

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Shoe Review: Bongo Femy Mary Jane Pumps

The Shoe: Bongo Femy Mary Jane Pumps, Red (also comes in black), 9.5.
The Store: K-Mart
The Price: $10 USD

I bought these shoes a month or two ago and settled in to a happy little pinup-shoe loving relationship, until recently. I've just discovered they come in BLACK! Now, I already have about 15 pairs of black pumps, but......I need these! Nothing like a cute pair of heels to make me want to cheat on my other shoes ;)

Pro's: Comfortable round toe, Thicker heel, Mid-range height.
I love heels, love, love, love them, but I cant really walk in them to save my soul. Or so I thought. And then, one day...I discovered heels with thicker, lower heels. It was like day and night. Mind you, I still cant wear heels all day, but a half day is a big step up from not at all!

These heels feature a thicker 2.5" heel, for all day wear that wont completely kill your arches; as well as a rounded toe for those of us that dont like pinched toes! Although these weren't wide width, they were accommodating enough to my feet that I dont mind.

Cons: Upturned toe, Difficult buckle.

One of the very few things I disliked about these shoes was the fact that the pad of the foot was slightly upturned, I am assuming for ease of walking. All they did for me is throw off my walking ability until I got used to the feel. The other downside is that the heart buckle, although really cute is really difficult to work with. I quite literally can't do the buckle up while these are actually on my feet. Luckily, the strap sits low enough on the foot that you can just do the buckle up, and then put on the shoe without too much difficulty.

Difficult buckle or no, I love these shoes so much that I want to buy one in each color. The price had me sold from the first time I saw them (they were $20, buy one get one half off), and now that they're even cheaper, thats even more reason for me to buy another pair.

Buy at K-Mart

Monday, March 14, 2011

Makeup Monday: Sally Hansen Diamond Strength No Chip Nail Color

The Makeup: Sally Hansen Diamond Strength No-Chip Nail Color
The Store: Walmart (available in most beauty stores)
The Price: $8 CAD

Sally Hansen Diamond Strength No-Chip NailCcolor comes in a hefty 36 shades, with nail perfection achievable after only two coats. The premise of this nail polish is that its chip resistant, fade resistant, and helps stop your nails from breaking. I put on two coats of "Pink Proposal" and decided to test out these claims.

Pros: Chip Resistant, Helps harden soft nails, Many shades to choose from.
Putting it simply, I am really rough on my nails. Most nail polishes dont last a day without chipping, due to the fact that I've got soft nails that bend/break easily, so when I heard about the claims this polish makes, I knew I had to give it a try. I have to say, I am really impressed with the wearability. It was a solid 3 days before the polish was chipped enough to be noticeable. It even survived me trimming my nails without chipping. My nails did seem not to be as soft as before while I had this polish on, and the effects still seem to last a little after I took the polish off as well. The large range of colors for this brand is definitely enticing.

Cons: Price, 2 coats didn't live up to expectations.
One bottle of this stuff (.45 fl oz) will set you back $8 a pop, which can get pretty pricey really quick if you decide you want more than one color. Looking at the color itself, if I chose any other than "Pink Proposal" (looks a bit like a French Manicure), I might be a bit disappointed. I am a tad on the impatient side, so putting more than 2 coats of color on is a stretch for me, but this color was pretty....transparent looking. I'd hesitate to buy any of the darker colors for fear that they might be a bit on the transparent side as well.

Proceed with caution. The price was a definite negative to me, but many women won't consider $8 a large investment seeing as the nail polish lasts so long. The product claims are right on the money, and it did feel like the polish did help my nails. Also, a word of warning...don't try and wear this polish on your toes. Lets just say the greenish undertone *isn't* flattering.

Sally Hansen Official Site

Friday, March 11, 2011

Fa(t)shion Friday!

The Clothes: The Diva Skinny Jean (embellished), Size 18R (available in petite, regular, long)
The Store: Old Navy
The Price: $7 CAD

Pro's: True to size, solid construction, infinite options.
As a quick brief: most brands have what we call "vanity sizing" (a ploy from stores to make customers feel better, and therefore shop at their stores more than their competitors) - So even though you may truly be a size 16, in some stores you may be a 14, or even a 12.

Old Navy is fairly true to size when it comes to their clothing, which is something you really learn to appreciate when shopping. I bought a pair of size 18 Diva jeans (Diva = low rise), regular length, and I'd give these jeans a 9/10 for their effort.
-Standing around 5'4.5'' I am just a smidge too tall to be in the "petite" clothing category (reserved for 5'4'' and under, usually), so these jeans are just slightly bunched near the ankle, but that isn't enough to bother me, especially with the cute gold button embellishments at the side.
-I chose the Diva style, which translate to a lower rise in the crotch, and straight fit through the hips and thighs. Similar styles of these jeans come in "The Rockstar": low rise, slim fit in the legs; "The Sweetheart": medium rise, straight in the leg; and "The Flirt": medium rise, slim fit in the leg.
-These particular jeans are in a medium wash, but are also available in dark washes, and I believe, grey.

Cons: No give to the fabric.
When I say there's no give to the fabric, I do mean there's no give. Its made from a heavy weight denim that has absolutely no stretch to it, so you darn well better try these jeans on IN STORE. There-in lies the problem for some women - Old Navy carries up to an 18 in Canada, and up to a 20 in the US in store, but thats not exactly helpful for most plus-gals. To be fair, atleast O.N. gives the option of being able to shop sizes 16-30 online in the US. So for those ladies, I'm sorry I cant help you there, but the bright side is that Old Navy does have size charts that do include measurements for up to size 30.

The Verdict:
For the sale price I got - Buy 'em. Even for the current sale price, well constructed plus-sized jeans are a steal.

Shop Old Navy's US Store
Shop Old Navy's Canadian Store

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Shoe Review

The Shoe: Riding Boots, Size 9.5W
The Store: Fashion Bug
The Price: $15 USD

If you, or anyone reading this with you, goes in to a laughing fit when hearing the words "long" "wide" and "shaft" said in the same sentence, you should probably stop reading now.

Moving along now...
Simply put - I LOVE these boots. They are honestly one of the best purchases I've ever made. I've been in the market for calf high boots for as long as I can remember, but because I have Amazonian calves, I couldn't ever find boots that fit unless they laced up (and even then, the tongues are often too slim and you end up seeing flesh on either side!). Oh, sure, if I wanted to pay $300 or so, I could easily find boots that would fit me in the calf-region, but lets just say I have better things to spend my money on. So, not too long ago I was surfing on Fashion Bug's website, and I saw these beauties - I knew immediately that I had to have them!

Pro's: Wide and normal shaft sizes.
The elastic shaft on these boots hugs the legs tightly, but they're made to be worn with skinny jeans or leggings, so if you're wearing them with bare legs they are going to feel loose. The boots have adjustable straps on the calf and ankle that aren't just for show - they can actually be tightened or loosened to suit your needs.

Cons: Fake Leather?
This could go either way - I knew for the price I wasn't getting real leather boots, and even though it looks just fine, I would have liked the shaft to be sturdier feeling. That being said, these boots are Vegan-friendly, which is a plus, so take the non-leather construction as you will. That was truly the only downside.

The Verdict:
Buy, Buy, BUY. Things like this are going to go quick, but luckily Fashion Bug carries around four styles very similar to this boot (no longer online, can still be found in limited selection in-store). If you cant find these particular ones, don't despair! Start checking other stores this time of year, and keep your ears peeled for sales. Or if you have the patience and don't have the need just yet...wait for next year's end of season sale.

Happy shopping!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Planning Stage

Last night I was mulling over the format for my blog, and I think I came up with something that will work out very well in the grand spectrum of things. Things are going to go a little like this:

Makeup Mondays - Reviews of new products I've tried, recommendations for older products I love, and a picture or two of it actually being worn.

The Shoe Review (Wednesdays) - Because who doesn't love shoes? Its kind of a safety net for women after a day of frustrating (clothing) shopping, because the size variance in shoes is pretty small compared to clothing.

Fa(t)shion Fridays - This is going to be a personal favorite - I'll let you know the brand, size, how it fits (loose, tight, true to size), where I found the item, and for how much.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Makeup Monday: Maybelline Super-Stay 24 Hour Color

Here and there I'll do a makeup Monday post, seeing as makeup can be an essential part of your look. I'll tell you what I love, don't love, and what I think is worth buying. In keeping with my cut-rate fashion theme, I'm not going to be reviewing expensive, hard to find products - only normal products you could find at your local drug-store.

Maybelline Super Stay 24 Hour Color
Endless Ruby, #30

Pros: Long lasting color, very pigmented.
To begin, since I know "long lasting color" lipsticks are pretty drying to your lip, I put on some lip conditioner (my personal preference is Blistex Lip Conditioner, but you can use whatever you have on hand). After that soaked in a bit, I lined and filled in my lips with Rimmel's Exaggerate in Red Diva, #24. Using the liquid color end of the Super Stay lipstick, I filled in the lips with the lovely deep red color. Now comes the tough part: waiting. You have to wait till the lip color has completely dried on your lips before you can use the included color-renewing balm.

Cons: Dry lips, slow drying.
I mentioned in the last section that long lasting color is very drying to your lips - because it truly is. Luckily for us, Maybelline thought this out and included a color-renewing balm with the product. That being said, you HAVE to keep applying the balm if you want to keep your lips from drying out. The other downside is how long the lip color takes to dry. It took around 2 minutes to dry before I could put on the balm, which to someone trying to quick apply some makeup before running out the door, does not work at all. But, if you give yourself some time, its well worth the effort.

Why this is in the blog:
Simple. Its a pretty inexpensive product to begin with, but I managed to snag one of these for free. I always keep my eyes peeled for deals, coupons, and contests - and it just so happened Maybelline wanted to give away about 1,000 of these bad boys for free. So, I signed up , and lucky as I am, managed to win one. Even if you have to go and buy some though, its less than $10 in Canada, and even cheaper in the US. They give you a fair amount of product for the price, and even though I wouldnt say the lipstick lasts a full 24 hours (its still there, but its not something you want to wear in public), it still lasts throughout a work day or an evening out.

The Verdict:
Buy it. I am going to get another color soon. The color they sent is lovely, but slightly brighter than I could pull off normally.

Living Life On The Cheap

For those who know me, I need no introduction; but, I am going to assume atleast a few of you have randomly stumbled across my blog and are wondering who in the heck I am and why you should care. I am a 23 year old plus-sized model living in Canada. You may call me Liz if you'd like.

So, now that you know who I am, you're probably wondering why I started this blog? It's pretty simple - Being plus sized makes it pretty difficult to find good bargains when it comes to clothes, and as a model, I constantly get women asking "Where did you find that? I'd love to have one!". I am the kind of person who doesn't horde secrets about my finds, because even if any of you by chance happened to get the last pair of size 18 jeans in the store, there is still an entire world of size 18 jeans in other stores.

Now that I've got that out - lets get on to the goods: I wont strictly be posting plus-sized only fashions, since a lot of brands are now carrying straight and plus sized versions of the same clothes, and because I like to throw in the occasional shoe post or makeup review. Seeing as both of those are essentials to a fantastic outfit ;)

This blog, as many things are, is a work in progress. I'm constantly updating and adding new things - so check back often!