Jul 20, 2015

Are You Ready for the Essence BeautyBox?

Essence BeautyBox
Most of the time, I try to stay abreast of late breaking beauty and fashion news, but this one got past me big time!  Luckily, my sister friend tagged me in an Instagram post about a new offering by Essence magazine.

Although a proclaimed product junkie, I've never been in the most comfortable seat on the subscription box bandwagon. In order for me to sign up for a monthly subscription, I must feel dedicated to the claims the brand is making.  In other words, if it doesn't make me feel inquisitive, excited and willing, then it's not going to happen.  Well let me state for the record that it took me all of about 10 minutes to be ALL in for the new Essence BeautyBox!  Not since my Curl Kit subscription have I discovered a monthly subscription box that made me feel like it was made specifically to fit my beauty needs.  Since Essence has always had an unwavering dedication to providing positive imagery for black women, I trusted their latest offering enough to put my card number in immediately because I want to be in on this one.

The Essence BeautyBox will begin shipping in October and promises 5 luxe samples in every box with 3 subscription plans to choose from.  The monthly plan is $15 per month; the 6 month subscription is $90 and the 12 month subscription is $165.  Although the 12 month subscription is $165 up front, you do save $1.25 per month ($15 per year) by paying the higher amount up front, as opposed to paying monthly. Either way, if you are a beauty buff who has been longing for an innovative subscription box that caters to your beauty needs, the Essence Beautybox may be what you've been waiting for.  Check it out today!

Jul 6, 2015

Lost in Translation: Affordable Style for the 40+ Woman

This Sequin Blazer by ASOS Curve is the perfect versatile piece for us.  It can be worn with a pencil skirt or skinny slacks and heels for fine dining, an art show or hubby's important dinner with the boss.
For women age 40 and beyond, it can sometimes feel like our style choices are limited to department stores, plus size specialty shops and Walmart.  Not that there's anything wrong with these choices, but don't you feel slightly odd walking around Forever 21 with your collagen blessed, size nothing, younger counterparts?  I know I do, but I go in anyway to partake in their incredibly affordable finds. Regardless of how it makes us feel, there is fashion for us to be found in places like Forever 21, H&M, ASOS and many others.  Using some of the individual pieces these stores offer, we can create complete, age appropriate looks and have fun doing it.  Check out the photos in the post for fabulous fashion finds for the 40+ woman.

This Scuba Knit Midi Skirt by Forever 21 (also offered in plus sizes) would be perfect with the sequin blazer shown above.  Add a low heel pump, cami, clutch and statement necklace for a complete look.  For a daytime look, pair with a tee, flats or sandals and a statement bangle for a comfy, yet stylish presentation.
This geometric statement necklace by H&M is for us!  Perfect for a day at the museum with the kids or a rare night out with the girls or hubby.
Show your individuality with this Fringed Backpack by H&M.  Perfect for a day at the park with the family.  Pair with boyfriend jeans, a comfy tee and espadrilles for a stylish, on the go look.
This Baroque Paisley Slit Maxi Dress by Love Culture screams date night or lunching ladies and it's long enough to conceal the slit when walking or sitting.
Simple pieces like this Maxi Wrap Dress by Forever 21 Plus is what 40+ women should look for when shopping in popular, trendy, affordable retail stores that are geared towards younger demographics.  Pair this with a floppy hat for a day trip to the winery or by itself for entertaining at home.  Also comes in black.

Jul 3, 2015

Plus Size Fashion Off Season

Imitation Leather Pants from H&M can be dressed up for down for night or day.  You can truly make these skinny leg pants your own.  ($30, available in sizes 20 & 22)
Today I was walking along, minding my business and thinking about shopping, as usual.  When suddenly it came to me that I really need to start back shopping off season.  Although I love looking at the new arrivals category when shopping online and the mannequins in store windows (that are set up to entice you to buy what's new), the bottom line is the best deals are found off season.  

Being a plus size woman, I can truly relate to the urgency and anxiety that befalls us when we see new, fashion forward, regular priced items.  Of all genres of fashion, we have truly been made to feel like we have to buy it now, but plus size fashion has come a long way.  Our choices are abound so the time is now for us to partake in off season, fashionable deals.

Here's the thing and this point is relevant for all sizes, when you shop off season you have to be open to buying items that you weren't exactly looking for.  The key is to consider how the item(s) will fit into your wardrobe.  If you have trouble thinking outside the box, then go for basic items and basic items with flair.  If you are an open minded shopper who doesn't mind experimenting with style, then off season shopping is your world.  What are you waiting for?  Go for it!
This Longline Jacket by SimplyBe is basic, but on trend and would look fabulous over a dress with heels, wide leg slacks or the Imitation Leather Pants by H&M shown above.  Add a broach to the lapel to pump up the volume on this piece! ($49.95, available in black or tomato and available in sizes 6-28)
Off the Shoulder Tee Shirt Dress from ASOS Curve is simple and sexy, but doesn't give too much away and can be worn countless ways.  Sport this to the farmer's market on a crisp fall morning with a pair of print plimsolls for an easy going, but put together look.  ($19.93, available in sizes 18-28)
Pair this Marled Knit Cardigan from Forever 21 with leggings and moto boots for weekend errands or wide leg slacks and pearls for the office.  Either way, it's a great off season deal! ($24.99, available in XL-3X)
These Side Stripe Pants, also by SimplyBe, paired with an off the shoulder sweater or white tee and a statement necklace can serve as a classic wardrobe staple with a twist. ($16.95, available in sizes 8-28)
Watercolor Plaid Chiffon Blouse by Forever 21 is currently on clearance for $10.99 and only available in 1X (2X & 3X are sold out).  This blouse paired with a skirt, slacks or jeans can easily go from the office to happy hour or a PTA meeting with ease.  Pair with boyfriend jeans and a low heel pump or slingback heel for a trendy look.