Curves, Cats, and Creams

Dancing With The Stars Winner is a “Little Sausage”?!


Whether or not you watch Dancing With the Stars, you probably know Amber Riley, best known for her role as diva-in-training Mercedes Jones in Glee. Not only is she a drop-dead gorgeous curvy girl, she also wiped the floor with willowy Elizabeth Berkley, her fellow contestant who had been dubbed “the queen of the samba”. 

Her moment in the sun, though, quickly became overcast when English judge Len Goodman, gave her a “compliment” that sent Twitter followers of DWTS aflame with outrage, “You, my little sausage, are a fantastic dancer”. 

For the record, I gave Len the benefit of the doubt and tried to find out if “my little sausage” meant something cute or endearing in British culture, and it does NOT! 

Question of the day: Have you ever been given a “compliment” like that about your curves that offended or upset you? How did you handle it?

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Ladies, Be Thankful For Your Curves!


Happy Thanksgiving to all my fabulous curvy girls!

We have a lot to be thankful for today, ladies. Here are just a few of the many reasons you should be thankful you have curves:

1. The vast majority of men (and women, for that matter) think curves are sexier than a stick straight figure.

2. If you choose to have children, you will have a much easier time pushing them out tha

n a skinny woman. (Youch!)

3. If an ice age starts this winter, which is not out of the realm of possibility based on the latest weather, you will survive because thanks to the energy stored in your curves.

Question of the day: What do you love most about your curves? Why? 

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A Curvy Cosmopolitan? Yes, Please!

iFor blog Plus size Cosmo

I admit that reading Cosmopolitan Magazine has been a guilty pleasure of mine for years, right alongside with Ben & Jerry’s delectable delight, Chubby Hubby. I admit that I’ve tried many of their sex positions and tips, sometimes resulting in a mind-blowing orgasm and sometimes in an excruciatingly painful pulled muscle. 

Now, though, I would proudly admit even to my conservative father that I read Cosmo. Robyn Lawley, an Australian plus size model, graced the pages of Australian Cosmopolitan’s December issue in her very own swimsuit line, Bond-Eye.

Even though this seems to be a huge breakthrough for the strictly skinny Cosmopolitan, it brings up an interesting subject: since Robyn is only a size 12, which is not considered plus-size, is Cosmo really embracing the curvy girls?

Question of the day: Do you think that “real” women would be more or less inclined to buy clothes they see in ads if they saw a non-model wearing them? Why?

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How Much are Your Breasts Worth?


When I was 12 years old, I wore a D cup bra, which not only brought me lots of attention from my horny male classmates; it also started my shoulders and back on a 20 year path to pain. I’ve tried countless bras with and without padded straps and under wire, and still my shoulders still look like mini Grand Canyons.

Recently, I stumbled across the Kewi bra, a strapless bra, launching in June of 2014, that claims to lift cup sizes D-K automatically by using “floating devices” and a device which “uses magnetic force to convert the downward force of the breasts to an upward force with a lift potential of 11.2 pounds”. The device also absorbs shock during movement to keep breasts in place.

As tempting as this sounds, it does not come without a hefty price tag: $150 (or $99 if you pre-order before December 10th of this year). Since I usually spend about $20 on my bras, that’s a lot for me to swallow. However, when my back is screaming at me at the end of a long day, it seems like a steal!

Question of the day: Would you spend $150 for a bra, especially if you can’t try it on first? Why or why not? Where do you usually buy your bras? Why?





Should Curvy Girls Be Charged a “Fat Tax”?


Ah, the joys of ripping hair out of our bodies to be beautiful. What could make a Saturday afternoon more fun?

How about paying more for it because we’ve got curves? A British salon called MM Bubbles is charging women who are larger than a size 12 an extra amount, equal to about 8 American dollars, to get body waxes than their leaner counterparts, according to The Sun, a UK newspaper. And they’re not even being honest about it; the policy is not included in any of their advertisements.

When I first read this article, I was enraged. After I thought about it from a logical and business standpoint, though, it seems to make sense. After all, the salon does have to pay for more wax, so why should they be forced to accept that loss?

The problem is that size does not necessarily correspond to amount of hair; some curvier women have either finer or less body hair and would therefore require less wax than a slimmer but thicker-haired girl, so shouldn’t that be taken into account?

The same theory applies to designers who charge more for plus size clothes because they require more material. However, if the argument is that more fabric equals a higher price, then why do most baby clothes cost as much as, if not more than, adult clothes?

Question of the day: Do you believe that the price of services and goods should be on a “sliding scale” according to size? Have you every had to pay more or less for a product or service because of your curves? Do you feel it was fair? Why or why not?


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Trend-ology: How Trends Change Our Self-Image


Admit it: we all have looked at old yearbooks and cringed at the crimped hair, the legwarmers, and the dreaded “skort”. Inevitably, we ask ourselves, “What the f*ck was I thinking?!”

Yet, at the time, it was the coolest thing in the world to tease our bangs so that they looked like we stuck our finger in an electrical socket. So why the regret?

It all comes down to trends, and the Museum at The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City is launching an exhibit on December 3rd called “Trend-ology”, which “examines the diverse sources from which fashion trends have emerged over the past 250 years, including urban street style, art, music, film, and socio-political movements. The exhibition also highlights industry developments that have had an impact on how trends spread.”

As a curvy girl, I’ve always been fascinated about trends relating to sizes. Why is it that one year a girl is eating everything in sight because curves are “in” and the next year the same girl is skipping meals because every girl in her class says thin is “in”? What or who starts a trend? Why do some survive and others wither on the vine? And, most importantly, why do we follow them?

Of course, we know that teenagers usually try to follow trends to be like their friends, especially if they’re part of the “in” crowd. But what about adults? Shouldn’t we be mature enough to make our own decisions. especially once we earn our own money?

Question of the day: Why do you think our culture’s definition of “beauty” changes so often and who or what triggers the change? Do you feel that you are a trend setter or a trend follower and why?

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SPF: The Bottom Line

Blog post SPF pic

By now, you’ve probably seen pictures of what can happen from too much sun exposure; skin cancer, ugly brown splotches, and (worst of all, I’m sure you’ll agree) wrinkles! So why all the confusion about SPF (Sun Protection Factor)? You just slather it on when you’re at the beach or by the pool and you don’t have to worry about looking like your grandmother, right?

Well, not exactly. As a licensed esthetician, I’ve discovered that it’s a bit more complicated than that. When determining which SPF is best for you, I always advise my clients to consider factors such as skin type, patience (in other words, are you really going to wait 30 minutes to go outside?), skin tone, skin concerns, and texture preference.

My clients are constantly asking me about contradicting information about SPF that they’ve received from different sources (magazine articles, blogs, Dr Oz shows), so I’m going to address their top 3 questions here to help clear things (especially your skin) up. My former college professors will be very proud that I’ve also included links to my sources below so you can see that these are not just my inane ramblings (well, most of them).

1. “What’s the difference between chemical and physical sunscreens and which one is better?” The word “chemical” can have some very scary connotations; in this case, it simply means that the sunscreen absorbs the rays of your sun so your skin does not. Some of the most common chemical sunscreen ingredients are Octylcrylene, Avobenzone, Helioplex, and Mexoryl. In order for this type of sunscreen to be most effective, it must be applied at least 20 to 30 minutes before sun exposure to give it time to absorb into your skin. Chemical sunscreens also filter out both UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) rays, so they are helpful if you’re trying to prevent premature aging.

On the flip side, physical sunscreens do not need time to absorb into your skin because they stay on the surface and simply reflect sunlight away from your skin, like a mirror. The two most common physical sunscreen ingredients are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. If you choose to use a physical blocker, make sure you choose one with either zinc oxide or both titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, as titanium dioxide protects against UVB rays only, not UVA.

2. “What number SPF do I need?” This is a fairly simple one; the lighter your skin, the more protection you need. In my case, for example, it takes me only 10 minutes to start to burn in direct sunlight (yes, I actually timed it once), so I multiply that by the SPF number to determine how many minutes of protection it will provide. In short, an SPF 30 will give me 300 minutes, or 5 hours, of protection before I start to burn.

Even though this sounds like a lot, keep in mind that different factors can reduce that number, such as sweating, oily skin, etc, so it’s always good to reapply every two hours when in direct sunlight.

Also, as I previously mentioned, burning is only one side effect of the sun, so always look for an SPF that is broad spectrum, meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB rays, to prevent premature aging.

3, “Don’t I need the Vitamin D that the sun provides?” The short answer is yes, of course, the sun has many positive effects on the body, such as bone strengthening and mood elevation.

The problem is that you only need about 20 minutes of sun exposure to get your daily dose of Vitamin D, and since no SPF provides 100% protection there will always rays that sneak through. If you are still concerned, a daily supplement of 600 IU is a good way to make sure you stay healthy.

There will be much more to come about SPF in future posts. For now, wear at least an SPF 15 on a daily basis and you’ll thank me later!

Question of the day: What’s the most bizarre myth you’ve ever heard about SPF and who told it to you?

Sources:   sunscreen.html#.UhrquRusiSo

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What is YOUR Best?

Every single day for the last 10 years of my life, I have been asked the exact same question: “What is the best…?”

This is usually followed by the words “eye cream”, “moisturizer”, “serum”, etc. With literally thousands of different skincare brands in existence and more launching every day, each claiming to make you look younger than your 5-year-old daughter in 10 days (or in some cases, 10 minutes), you would think that it is a very logical question.

The problem is that the true, honest answer is not what people want to hear: finding the “best” product is as elusive and time-consuming as discovering the meaning of life.

In other words, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS THE “BEST” PRODUCT! There are simply too many factors to consider, such as age, skin type, geographical location, allergies, lifestyle, and medication, to name just a few.

So should we simply give up and write off the search for the perfect moisturizer as unattainable as finding the perfect mate? No! Like finding the perfect mate, this is simply a case of trial and error. Unlike a boyfriend or girlfriend, though, most moisturizers will not be offended to hear, “It’s not me, it’s you.”

Even if I didn’t work at Sephora, I would still say this: they really are the “best” at guiding you through the journey to find your best. 

1. They carry many different brands with a wide range of prices.

2. Their employees are extremely well-educated and do not work on commission.

3. There are testers which you can try right in the store.

4. You can get a sample of almost any product in the store to test for sensitivity.

5. You are even allowed to return a used product if it’s not “the one”!


Question of the day: What is your “best”…? What do you love about it? How many different products did you try before finding your perfect mate?


The Joy of Clothes

A curve is a curve is a curve, right? Actually, not so much. Just like “normal” size girls (don’t get me started), we curvy girls come in all different shapes and sizes. And now there’s a fabulous online resource to celebrate that.

Recently, I stumbled across The Joy of Clothes, an online personal stylist website that is, by far, the most accurate and comprehensive resource I’ve found for fashion styling, especially for us.

I began by taking a 16-question quiz on details such as my coloring, body type, age, and style preferences. After completing the quiz, I received an entire file just for me, which included suggestions such as general rules for my body type, types of clothes to avoid, and necklines and sleeves which flatter me the most. It even walked me through each item that would work best for me; tops, jeans, dresses, coats, shoes, swimwear, and even handbags.

What I loved the most is that The Joy of Clothes does not endorse or suggest any particular designer or brand, so you can apply the suggestions to literally ANYWHERE place you shop!

Even though having a personal stylist shop with you would be ideal, for those of us who can’t afford to or would rather help ourselves, The Joy of Clothes is your greatest shopping companion.

Question of the day: What is your body type and what do you feel flatters it most? If you take the Joy of Clothes quiz, does it match your current style picks or does it open up a whole new world??




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Does Size Really Matter?

For blog AbbeyPost founder pic

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have clothes in my closet ranging from sizes 18 to 26 and the crazy thing is that they ALL fit! This is the main reason why I get so frustrated with having to buy outfits online; as Forrest Gump said, “You never know what you’re gonna get”!

Thankfully, there is hope on the horizon. Cynthia Schames, founder of AbbeyPost, a plus size marketplace and community, stole the show at this year’s Vegas start-up competition for Women 2.0, a media company of women innovators in technology. AbbeyPost has introduced Find Your Fit, an online body scanner which uses your own personal webcam to find your exact measurements.

After scanning your fabulous curves in the privacy of your own home, AbbeyPost reveals the gorgeous clothes in their marketplace that could have been tailor-made for you!

Question of the day: Would you like to see this scanner in stores as well or would you prefer the element of surprise?

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I'd like to buy a vowel.


Living Life Through Music


A stylist, foodie, & writer's blog.