Spring Plus Size Picks (Dresses & Skirts)

It’s officially Spring this week, so it’s time to start thinking about how to refresh your wardrobe! I’m a huge fan of pulling out all the dresses I own in the Spring that I haven’t been able to touch all Winter long.

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I decided to do a roundup of my favorite Plus Size Spring dresses (and a few skirts!) that I’ve been eyeing online & in stores. I think Spring is the perfect time for a bit of a wardrobe refresh, don’t you agree?

Florals are an obvious  & classic choice for Spring – and these are the ones I’ve been crushing on.

FloralModCloth // ASOS // Forever21+

Peachy Pinks are going to be huge this Spring and Summer season. And luckily, they compliment so many skin tones!

Peachy PinkFashion to Figure // Torrid // Lane Bryant

You’re probably thinking, black for Spring? Yes! It’s always handy to have a black (or black and white) dress in the Spring, for special events that might call for it. And sometimes you just want to make a statement with a black dress.

BlackSpringEloquii // H&M+ // Addition Elle // Macy’s

Below are some dresses that I just couldn’t categorize but think are great for Spring (and maybe even Summer) nonetheless!

Misc DressesEloquii // Old Navy // Addition Elle

I decided to add in some super high end, pricey options for those ladies that happen to the big bucks to put down for some amazing designer pieces. I wish I was one of them!

High EndMichael Kors // Marina Rinaldi // Eileen Fisher // Rachel Pally

And finally, some skirts! I only have a few because I was mostly looking for dresses – but as I was browsing I found some amazing skirts that needed to be featured.

SkirtsASOS // Simply Be // Monif C.

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Spring Perfume Obsession

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Today it’s hitting 70 degrees here in Chicago and I am beyond ecstatic. It’s officially Spring. (I’m going to ignore the fact that the high tomorrow is supposed to be 45 degrees.) That means I’m pulling out my favorite Spring scent – Florence by Tocca Beauty.

It’s a light scent with beautiful floral notes of gardenia and jasmine. It’s such a romantic and feminine scent that pairs wonderfully with the warmer Spring temps and blooming flowers. It puts me in such a good mood!

Notes: Italian Bergamot, Grapefruit Leaves, Green Pear, Apple, Ivory Gardenia, Crushed Violet Petals, Jasmine, Tuberose, Blue Iris, Blonde Wood, White Musk.

I don’t own too many perfumes, so I’m thinking of picking up a new scent soon for the Spring/Summer. What’s your favorite Spring scents? Or perhaps, Summer scents?

Charlotte Russe+

It appears Charlotte Russe is releasing a new plus size collection in select stores and online today (March 9th)!

The company has even created a new instagram account, @charlotterusseplus, dedicated solely to its plus size range. According to Racked.com,  Charlotte Russe, “…has enlisted four plus size bloggers, including Gabi Gregg, to help promote the launch.”

Screen shot 2015-03-09 at 4.16.34 PMFor those unfamiliar, Charlotte Russe is known for it’s trendier pieces and budget-friendly prices for the teen crowd (similar to Forever 21 and other places). But I know I’ll be checking in for pieces I might like to wear, even though I am definitely not their target demographic. I really enjoy trying to mix and match high end pieces with trendier, low-cost fashion. It makes fashion so much fun!

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NARS Dual-Intensity Blush for Spring 2015

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(via Temptalia):

For Spring 2015, NARS Cosmetics introduces the new Dual-Intensity Blush. Featuring NARS’ exclusive Translucent Prismatic Technology, the newly-imagined formula allows for multi-dimensional effects with a uniquely weightless, luxurious texture. Six modern shade pairings curated by François Nars offer a universal spectrum of hues that works across all skintones. Sweeps on dry for a bold flush or wet for a translucent wash of color. Dry pigments impart a natural glow that warms the complexion and fuses weightlessly. Dampen NARS’ exclusive Wet/Dry Blush Brush before application for a watercolor effect—dab over the apples of the cheeks and swirl in a circular motion to paint on a subtle tint. Designed in a sensorial, soft-touch square case with a modern magnetic closure, six luxuriously embossed duos heighten the art of transformation.

All credit for this information goes to Temptalia. I just want to share my thoughts on the upcoming release.

Oh my Gosh, I am so excited for these blushes! I cannot be the only one, right? I saw rumblings about these blushes about a month or so ago and a couple pictures had been floating around on instagram. I was happy to see more information and some reviews starting to pop up.

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(Above: NARS Adoration Dual-Intensity Blush)

I’m a big fan of the NARS Dual-Intensity Eyeshadows. I own a couple of those and have the eyeshadow palette that was recently released on my ever-growing list of “to buy” makeup. So I was quite interested when I saw images showing up of the new blushes!

These blushes will be selling at $45 for 0.21oz of product – not a shocking price tag, if you’re familiar with NARS. I’m most interested in the following three shades: Adoration, which is a sparking baby pink and a shimmering hot pink; Panic, a shimmering shocking fuchsia and orange-pink; and finally Fervor, a shimmering soft pink paired with a sparkling deep coppery rose.

Now blushes do happen to be my favorite makeup item, so I’m obviously quite biased by this release. If I pick any I’ll be sure to check back with a review!

Are you anticipating this release as much as I am? Any particular blushes catching your eyes?

Review: Tartelette Palette

After a short break from the wee ol’ blog here (life got in the way!) I’m back!

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A few weeks ago I picked up the new Tartelette Amazonian Clay Matte Eyeshadow Palette from Sephora. And I’m happy to report back that I absolutely love it!

I’ll be honest though – when it was first released I wasn’t interested in it at all. I had picked up a holiday set from Tarte last year and ended up being pretty disappointed with the eye shadows. They were very dry and patchy & they didn’t go on my eyelids smoothly. Overall they were pretty much duds! Sad, right?

Back to this new release, I had no intention of buying it, but secretly admitted that shadows looked lovely and I really liked that it was an all matte palette. I use matte shadows for my crease in almost all my looks, so the palette would come in handy, but again, I still felt a bit burned by the holiday palette I bought.

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Well I was in Sephora picking up a few other items and I decided to give the palette a little swatch and get a feel for the shadows in person. And oh my! They felt lovely and swatched great. Color me intrigued! I tucked that baby in my Sephora bag right that second.

(Side note: I always prefer to check out eyeshadows in person versus ordering blindly online, you just never know what you’re gonna get when you only have a picture online to make a decision.)

I’ve been happily using this palette almost every day since I bought it. The first row of shadows are perfect brow bone highlight shades, and the second row is perfect for building up my crease. The third and fourth row are going to be super fun when I want a more dramatic look! I don’t do those very often though. I would have to say that my favorite shades are Natural Beauty and Best Friend.

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I think my favorite part of the palette is the fact that it’s really reasonably priced! It’s $44 for 12 matte shades that all work really well together. And the setup of the shadows within the palette make it really easy to create simple but beautiful eye looks. This palette will be very loved in 2015, I just know it!

Swatches below the cut!

Have you tried this palette? Do you love it as much as I do?

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Mac Haul for a Mac Newbie

I have to admit that I’m fairly new to Mac cosmetics – I know, I know. Crazy, right? I went shopping a few weekends ago specifically to pick up some new items. I only own one Mac lipstick (Plumful!), the 217 blending brush, some of their holiday pigments, and their Fix+ spray.

I really wanted to introduce myself to their eyeshadows. So I swatched quite a few and then settled on the four below! I have plans to pick out more soon as I’m really happy with them so far.

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(Left to right: Coppering, Mythology, Satin Taupe, and All That Glitters)

I also decided that I wanted to try one of their paint pots in Soft Ochre since it matches my skin tone perfectly and I think it’ll work great as an eyeshadow base (and a week into using it and so far, so good!)

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I did buy some Mac pigments in their holiday sets back in November, the pinky, rose tones; and I was really happy with those so I decided to buy Mac’s Blue/Brown pigment which I had seen swatches of online and I thought they were stunning.

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All in all I’m really happy with my purchases and you better believe I’ll be back for some more Mac.

What are some of your all-time favorite Mac shadows? I’d love some more suggestions on what to pick up next!

Swatches of the eyeshadows and pigment below the cut!

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Mid-Week Mani

It’s been a very dreary and snow filled week in Chicago (more than 20 inches of snow) so I was feeling that my nails needed a little TLC and a bright new color.

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Ahh, all the tools I used!  Here’s how I went about my mid-week manicure.

Step 1: Remove old nail polish.

I’m a fan of this Target brand nail polish remover by Up & Up – the pink version works really well for me. (The purple version sucks, don’t buy it!) I also prefer using the exfoliating cotton rounds because they remove nail polish much easier than the regular cotton rounds available at Target.

Step 2: Use sugar scrub to exfoliate and soften hands.

I use this sugar scrub that I picked up while ago from Sally Beauty Supply. You could also probably make your own sugar scrub at home with sugar & coconut oil. I’m almost out of my sugar scrub, so I may try some DIY scrubs next!

Step 3: Use hand cream to hydrate and soften skin.

I use First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Cream for this step. I usually have a 2oz bottle stashed away in my purse because I suffer from extremely dry hands & cuticles. It has a nice thick consistency, but doesn’t leave my hands feel greasy. It sinks in to my skin in seconds!

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Step 4: Use Sally Hansen Hard As Nails as a base coat. (Note: I use this as base & top coat as it leaves a beautiful glossy finish.)

Step 5: Paint nails with bright and fun color! In my case, I picked the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in the shade Blue My Mind.

Step 6: As mentioned above, I again use the Sally Hansen Hard As Nails as my top coat – leaving a lovely shine.

Step 7: After waiting for my nails to completely dry, I drop on Orly’s Argan Oil Cuticle Drops and let them soak into my cuticles. Gotta take care of those super dry cuticles of mine!

And here’s my end result! Not perfect but it will do the job. That’s what at-home manicures are for, right?

DSCN0442Do you have any shades of polish you’re loving at the moment? What are your favorite nail polish brands to use? 

 

 

Favorite Winter (Budget Friendly) Lip Balm

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I use a lot of lip balm – which means I try a lot of lip balm. But I always go back to my favorite during the dry winter months. Smith’s Rosebud Salve ($6 for .8oz) is simply the best at keeping my lip moisturized and soft. It’s also pretty budget friendly, unlike the much talked about Dior Creme de Rose Smoothing Plumping Lip Balm that rings in at $28 for .25oz of product, so I like to have multiples that I tuck away in my purse, my desk at work, and my nightstand.

I personally think that the Rosebud Salve is just as good (if not better) than the Dior Creme de Rose. Bold statement, I know! (If you’re feeling spendy though, I wouldn’t say no to picking up the Creme de Rose. It’s a great product.)

I also like to use this salve in the summer on sunburned lips. It’s cooling, smooth and hydrating in all the right ways. It has a soft scent of roses which I absolutely love, it’s not for everyone but it’s subtle enough that it wouldn’t bother most people.

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Have you ever tried Smith’s Rosebud Salve? Do you have any other must-have lip balms that I should try?

Wintery Date Night

The middle of winter can sometimes put a damper on your wardrobe and your styling can take a backseat to warmth and comfort when the wintery blues start to set in. We’re finishing up January in a few days but winter still sticks around for another couple of months, so what happens when a date night comes up?

I decided to create a little inspiration style board for just such a night. I know I’m usually snuggling into my sweaters and keeping my toes warm in fuzzy socks, so to go the complete opposite, I decided to pick a dress that will show off my curves and fit the season with a wine coloring. Add a sparkly nail polish and a wine colored lipstick to go with it.

Since it’s still winter I wanted to keep my toes under wraps with these cute, basic black booties and pairing them with a gorgeous leather envelope clutch. Keeping the jewelry understated with a NYC coordinates cuff and a glittering pair of earrings. I think this outfit would work pretty well for Valentine’s Day, too!

winterdatenightDress: Caroline Plunge Neck Peplum Dress from Boohoo
Booties: Nine West Gemeza Heel Ankle Bootie
Purse: Cuyana Leather Envelope Clutch
Bracelet: Coordinates Cuff from BaubleBar
Earrings: Kate Spade Cluster Earrings
Nail Polish: Butter London in Rosie Lee
Lipstick: NARS Audacious Lipstick in Jane

Miracle Worker & An Ulta Deal

Last month I received a sample of Philosophy’s Miracle Worker Overnight cream and I happened to be in the market for a new evening moisturizer that would be a bit more hydrating and intensive. I really enjoy waking up to silky-soft skin, and my current moisturizer that I used for both day and night wasn’t quite as potent as I had wanted.

I used the Miracle Worker Overnight cream for one night – only one! And I was SOLD. I immediately got online to check Sephora and Ulta. I decided to purchase it from Ulta, for reasons unknown, and as it was sitting in my basket I was clicking around for a few other items, I noticed that there was an Online Only deal for both the Miracle Worker and Miracle Worker Overnight (2oz in each) for $77.

Here’s where I point out that for just the Miracle Worker Overnight (2oz) it’s $68, so for less than $10 more I would get both moisturizers and a deluxe sample of their eye repair cream.

Um, SIGN ME UP. I couldn’t make that order any faster.

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I’ve been using the products for almost a week now and I’m super happy with them. In the morning my skin feels ultra hydrated from the overnight cream, and the day moisturizer sinks into my skin fast so I can get to putting on my makeup. I don’t like moisturizers that just sit on the skin during the day because I can’t delay getting ready for work.

Psst, they’re also offering the pair of moisturizers (1oz each) and eye repair cream for only $55, if you want to give it a try.