Curves, Cats, and Creams

Never Guess Your Size Again, Thanks to Smart FiT!

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How many times have we researched the perfect outfit online and ran excitedly to the nearest store that actually carries plus sizes, only to hear the phrase, “That outfit is only available online”? So, after a wasted trip to the mall, we schlep ourselves back home in the snow and log onto the Internet to order said outfit, only to be confronted with one of life’s great unanswerable questions, “Which f*#king size do I order?!”

Thankfully, MIPSO is handing us the answer to this question on a silver platter, or at least in their new Smart FiT app. Since almost 40% of online purchases are returned, mainly because of an incorrect fit, MIPSO’s Smart FiT app is seeking to eliminate the confusion of choosing your perfect size by personalizing your virtual fitting room.

To begin, simply upload a photo of you or manually enter a few basic measurements. Since not one of us has the patience to enter the 29 specific measurements needed to accurately determine your size, MIPSO’s top-secret algorithm predicts the rest. Once that’s completed, customize your colors and style preferences to ensure only relevant outfits will be suggested.

After you’ve told MIPSO just what you want in your fantasy wardrobe, you’ll actually get to see what the outfits will look like on you! Or at least on your very own avatar, which even has your fabulous curves.

If you prefer to actually leave your home and interact with live human beings, check in at your favorite participating store, then scan any barcode with your smartphone to find out which size will fit you flawlessly. And, just like online, you can see how the clothes will look on your avatar, so you save a ton of time in the dressing room that is much better spent shopping for more curvy outfits!

If you still need help, the sales assistants will have access to all of your style information and preferences the moment you check in, so they can make even more personalized recommendations for you. 

After shopping for both yourself and your curvy friends (since MIPSO allows friends to see each other’s profile) there will usually be a choice to check-out via your phone and say “suckas!” to the poor unfortunates waiting in line.

Smart FiT app will be available soon and I will be one of the first to download it so I never again have to ask myself what f$#king size to order!

 

http://mipso.me/

https://www.facebook.com/Mipso

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Considering a Curvy Career? Here’s What You Need to Know.

Thanks to trailblazers like Emme Aronson and Robyn Lawley, major magazines and designers are on the hunt for curvy models like never before and if you’re dreaming of becoming the next curvy cover girl, here’s what you need to know:

1.”Plus size” has a whole different definition in the modeling world than in the real one, usually referring to a model as small as a size 8 or 10. Especially in catalogs this is true because the general consensus is that customers from sizes 4-16 will all be able to relate to that model and will be more likely to purchase the pictured outfit.

No matter what size your dress label says, though, don’t hesitate to strut your stuff in a modeling agency interview as long as you are proportioned, especially if you’re a well-proportioned hourglass, which is the shape highest in demand. Most agents agree that a model can be marketable if she is toned and healthy, has clear skin, shiny, bouncy hair, and a stunning smile.

2, Height requirements for print and runway usually range from 5’7″ – 6″, although, again, there are exceptions to this rule as long as you are proportioned. 

3. When going to an open call, bring 5 or 6 pictures, including a head-on face, profile, and full body shots, preferably something in a bathing suit, which can be a one-piece as long as it really shows your curves. Note: remember to not use any products on your face or hair; the agency wants to see the real you!

4. More important than any measurement is your personality! “Personality is paramount,” states Anthony Higgins of MSA Models. “The model is helping their client sell their clothing, their toothpaste – whatever it is. The good models understand that.”

I hope at least one of you reading this will be gracing the cover of Vogue someday, and I hope that by then “plus size supermodels” are simply called “supermodels”, because that is what you are!

 

http://msamodels.com/models.aspx?d=m&nav=6&subid=7999&sexid=2

http://www.nycastings.com/dmxreadyv2/blogmanager/v3_blogmanager.asp?post=that’s-a-plus!

http://www.wikihow.com/Become-a-Plus-Size-Model

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Deck the Halls with Boughs of Moisture!

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Even though I’ve lived in New England my entire life, the bi-polar weather never ceases to amaze me. In the summer, we have to swim through the air because it’s so humid and, in the winter, it feels like we’re living on a frigid desert island and we’d kill for a drop of moisture.

Because of this, there’s no possible way that we can use the same skincare products all year round. Below are a few suggestions that will quench your parched and gasping skin.

Just a reminder: although I work at Sephora, these are MY suggestions, not theirs!

Step 1: Cleanser
Look for one with a milky texture that leaves your skin feeling fresh and clean, not tight and screaming for a moisturizer. I love either First Aid Beauty or Fresh Soy cleansers. They leave my skin so supple and soft and I can use both around my eyes to take off makeup, unless it’s waterproof; then I use a separate remover.

Note: If you use these properly, (twice a day), they should both last for at least 3 months.

http://www.sephora.com/product/productDetail.jsp?keyword=FIRST%20AID%20BEAUTY%20Face%20Cleanser%20P248404&skuId=1217710&productId=P248404&_requestid=6817

http://www.sephora.com/soy-face-cleanser-P7880?skuId=487694

 

Step 2: Exfoliator
No moisturizer is going to sink in properly unless you first clear away that flaky dead skin that’s been piling up! Look for an exfoliator with very small, fine grains; the only thing St Ives Apricot scrub is good for is removing soap scum! I really like either Dermadoctor Physical Chemistry microdermabrasion for a deep weekly exfoliator or Philosophy Microdelivery wash if you prefer a light daily one.

http://www.sephora.com/product/productDetail.jsp?keyword=physical%20chemistry&skuId=976720&productId=P168201&_requestid=6966

http://www.sephora.com/product/productDetail.jsp?keyword=PHILOSOPHY%20The%20Microdelivery%20Exfoliating%20Wash%20P184109&skuId=976399&productId=P184109&_requestid=7010

 

Step 3: Moisturizer!!!

Slather on a silky smooth, luxurious cream and you will literally hear your skin sighing in relief. I adore Philosophy Full of Promise Dual-Action Restoring cream or Dior Hydra-Life Pro-Youth Protecting Cream with SPF 15.

http://www.sephora.com/product/productDetail.jsp?keyword=PHILOSOPHY%20Full%20Of%20Promise%E2%84%A2%20Dual-Action%20Restoring%20Cream%20P375411&skuId=1449040&productId=P375411&_requestid=7066

http://www.sephora.com/product/productDetail.jsp?keyword=DIOR%20Hydra%20Life%20Pro-Youth%20Protective%20Cr%C3%A8me%20SPF%2015%20P259409&skuId=1234152&productId=P259409&_requestid=7101

 

Of course, these are the basics of skincare maintenance, so please make sure to ask about eye creams, serums, and masks once you’ve gotten into a routine.

 

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Sip and Swap, the Curvy Way

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Every Halloween when I was a kid, I would go trick-or-treating with my best friend, Jen, and we would have a blast! We would pick out our costumes together, get ready together, take pictures together, and then hit the streets. After we bled our neighbors dry, we would go back to her house and swap our candy so we each got what we loved the most (ahh, Reese’s…)

Since the swap was always the best part of the night for me, I was so excited to hear that Ty-Juana Flores, founder of Style Your Curves, who has been saving the curvy girls of Boston from fashion disasters since 2012, is hosting a clothing swap just for us on Sunday, January 26 2014, at Scholars Bistro and Lounge, located at 25 School St in Boston.

On swap day, bring 5-10 items of current, clean clothing (no accessories), on hangers, if possible. Please make sure that they are in good condition, without tears, holes, stains, or broken zippers. Vintage is fine if it’s actually vintage (from the 80s or earlier). 

If you’re a pack rat/hoarder like my husband who can’t even think about parting with old clothes, just remember this rule of thumb: if you haven’t worn it in a year, chances are you never will so swap it out for something you actually want to wear!

Please bring your clothes to Scholars between 12 and 1:30 PM (only during that time, please) to give the Style Your Curves team time to sort and organize them. After that, feel free to sip on your complimentary beverage and mingle with your curvy neighbors while Ty-Juana and her team are hard at work. Don’t forget to buy your raffle ticket for a special prize from Chloe + Isabel jewelry!

At 3 PM, Ty-Juana will explain the rules of the swap and the magic will begin! Discover new and exciting outfits without spending a penny more than the $15 admission price.

Afterward, any clothes that are not claimed will be donated to Dress for Success, a nonprofit organization whose mission is “to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support, and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.”  

I will definitely be there, ladies, and I hope I see you because this will be so much fun; not only to get some new outfits and clear out our closets, but to network with each other and build Boston’s curvy community!

 

Tickets can be purchased at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sip-and-swap-the-curvy-edition-tickets-9208686429

http://styleurcurves.com/

https://www.facebook.com/tyjuana.flores.3?fref=ts

https://www.chloeandisabel.com/

http://www.dressforsuccess.org/

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Not Sure Where to Shop for Your Curves? Start with Curvy Market!

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Isn’t it great to have nothing to do all day except surf the web for retailers that actually cater to our curves? 

Oh, wait…

Since most of us have a total of 10 minutes to ourselves every day, otherwise known as our daily shower, I had to tell you about what I call a “Curvy Google” for shopping, otherwise known as Curvy Market.

Created by Kenyeal Keon, a curvy hottie in LA, and launched in October 2013, Curvy Market is the only social shopping platform dedicated entirely to bringing curvy women together with the retailers who love them. 

As a shopper, just sign up for a free account and receive a Curvy Market URL. Suddenly, you have access to hundreds of retailers, ranging from giants like Nordstrom to the smallest Etsy designer, with a massive range of products including clothing, shoes, jewelry, books and media, arts and crafts, and even maternity and wedding. If you need help narrowing down all the choices, visit the “Get Inspired” section to view pictures that other members have posted of their fabulous finds. Don’t forget to post your own find after it arrives! 

If you are a retailer or designer looking to reach your curvy consumers, simply create a free listing and send Curvy Market the details you’d like on your store page, after which you’ll also be given a Curvy Market URL. You can even add your social media buttons to your page so your ladies can find you anywhere. Then get busy uploading collections and individual products that will wow your curvy audience!

Kenyeal explains her struggles with shopping for her fabulous plus size figure, “For years I craved ONE website that took the guesswork out of accessing the hundreds, if not thousands, of retailers that had items created with Plus Size women in mind. Aside from just bookmarking and forgetting about them, I wanted more. Which ones spoke to my personality and my essence? I hope you find the value in Curvy Market and you too discover and support these amazing stores that are passionate about serving us, the Curvy community.” 

 

http://curvymarket.com/

http://curvymarket.com/page/from-kenyeal-keon

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Let Your Breasts Breathe With Wick’em Bra Liners

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Even though I don’t have any babies (at least, not any human ones), I am literally never without baby powder. Having grown D-cup breasts by the time I was 12, I learned at a tender age that to go without baby powder under my breasts will very quickly lead to embarrassing sweat spots, sticky and slimy residue, chaffing, and that oh-so-fun stabbing from underwires. 

Which is why my girls sat up and started cheering when I came across Wick’em bra liners today. Available in two different styles, Wick’em liners keep the girls happy by absorbing extra moisture away from your skin and locking it into its cotton filling. And, best of all, my bathroom won’t be mistaken for a cocaine den after I apply my baby powder any more!

If you are very active or simply have a little extra “glow”, the Moisture Management liner is for you. Crafted from the same high-tech absorbing fabric of athletic gear, this liner will stand up to your most rigorous workouts.

If you are recovering from breast surgery, are undergoing breast cancer treatments, or are simply a sensitive gal like me that would rather not be wearing an angry red bra outline at the end of the day, the Sensitive Skin bra liner will be your girls’ best friend. In addition to absorbing excess moisture, it is created from a heavenly rayon fiber that is also dye- and latex-free.

There are also no adhesives, pins, or duct tape needed to secure it to your favorite bra. Simply place the liner under the bra with the label facing away from you so that the flat edge lies along the bottom. The two large flaps will nestle neatly into the cups with the tab centered between your ladies. If you prefer to show a little (or a lot) more cleavage, that’s OK, too; just make sure the tab is facing down.

Picking the right size is a breeze, too. Whatever cup size you are is the letter you order. For example, I wear a DDD, so I would order a D cup. 

Care and maintenance couldn’t be easier, either, because they are machine washable, with your delicates, and dryable on low heat.

The best part is that they are very budget friendly at only $20 each and can be easily ordered online from Lane Bryant, Her Room, and Kohl’s! 

Wick’em founder Donna Frye says, “The letters and e-mails I receive from women who have purchased the Wick’em have been truly moving. From women who finally feel comfortable wearing a bra, to women whose rashes and irritation caused by perspiration dramatically improve or disappear, to the breast cancer patients who finally get relief from the raw, irritated skin caused by the very treatments they must endure to save their lives. My women customers testify that the Wick’em really works.”

 

http://www.wickem.com/portfolio-view/sensitive-skin/

http://www.wickem.com/portfolio-view/moisture-management/

http://www.herroom.com/wickem-5548-bra-liner.shtml

http://www.lanebryant.com/p147042/index.pro?relatedItem=true

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C’est Magnifique Turns Up the Heat at Curvy Winter Fashion Show This Saturday

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Since the excitement of Fall Fashion Week is a fond memory and Spring Fashion Week is way too far away, C’est Magnifique is keeping curvy girls warm and stylish this Saturday night at their Winter Fashion Show.

For those of you not in the know, C’est Magnifique is the fashion and event planning agency in the New England curvy world, helping to shine the spotlight on real women in the traditionally stick-thin fashion industry. Located in Cambridge, MA, C’est Magnifique was founded in December 2011 by former curvy model Shen Bennett, and their mission is to “provide ethical representation of curvy models for the fashion and commercial advertising industries”.

Saturday’s show will feature the hottest collections from designers such as Fly Girl Couture, I.F. Clothing, Nilanjo! Fashion, and Deviant Rebel Clothing, along with accessories from Ortega Jewelry Designs.

General admission tickets are $25 and, if you’d like a front-row seat to the magic and a holiday gift bag, VIP tickets will give you both for $50. Each can be purchased at http://www.cestmagnifiqueagency.com, and a portion of all tickets will go to Prize4Life, a nonprofit organization seeking to rid the world of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The doors of the Multicultural Arts Center at 41 Second St in Cambridge, MA, will open at 630 PM, which gives you just enough time to thaw out before the hottest models in Massachusetts start strutting their stuff down the runway at 7. 

C’est Magnifique feels that “the fashion industry needs to be more responsible about the image it projects by replacing too-thin models with wholesome and realistic looks, particularly after certain governments have placed bans on skeletal models” and I could not agree more.

See you on the runway, ladies! 

http://www.cestmagnifiqueagency.com/#!

http://www.prize4life.org/page/about

http://www.multiculturalartscenter.org/

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Sexy Curves Need Sexy Birth Control

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I am constantly learning new things about my fabulous curves and something I learned recently really made me sit up and listen, so I had to share it with all of you, my fellow curvy ladies.

First of all, I firmly believe that our sexuality is a God-given gift and that we should take every opportunity to enjoy it. I also believe that, in order to embrace that gift, we need to use proper protection if we want to avoid unplanned pregnancies and STDs and, thankfully, there are many, many options available to put our minds at ease.

Having said that, we MUST realize that having our gorgeous curves can alter the effectiveness of some types of birth control, possibly even rendering them useless. Below is a quick overview of the most common types of birth control and whether or not they are affected by body weight.

1. Condoms – They simply block your man’s little soldiers from crossing the threshold in the first place, so their effectiveness is not dependent on your weight at all.

2. Birth control pills – Since the hormone used in most daily birth control pills is similar to the morning-after pill (see # 8 on this list), there is some concern over whether or not it loses its effectiveness in curvy gals.

3. Birth control patch – Although the facts are still being evaluated, the hormones in the patch have to penetrate through more layers of fat to reach our bloodstreams, so most doctors agree that this is not the best way we can avoid an “oopsie”.

4. Hormone IUD – Again, anything that contains hormones is still being evaluated for true effectiveness on larger women.

5. Copper IUD – Since this does not use any hormones but simply deposits small amounts of copper into the uterus, which sperm does not like, its effectiveness is not affected by our weight.

6. Depo Provera injection – Again, anything that contains hormones is still being evaluated for true effectiveness on us. Also, most women, whether they have extra curves or not, usually gain weight from it.

7. Nuvaring – This is an exception to the hormone rule, since the hormones are deposited more locally and do not have to travel through the bloodstream first, so it’s a pretty safe bet for us, as long as you do some wrist stretches first!

8. The “morning-after pill” – Although the facts are still being evaluated, it seems to be that the effectiveness of the hormone levonorgestrel, the active ingredient, decreases in women over 165 pounds and may disappear completely in women over 175 pounds.

If you’re still not sure which method is best for you to avoid mommy-hood before you’re ready, check out the links below and then go say hi to your OB-GYN or pay a visit to your local Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood also has lots of different payment options if money is tight!

http://bedsider.org/methods/matrix.

http://bedsider.org/features/164

http://www.sart.org/Factsheet_IUD_A_Long-Acting_Reversible_Contraception/

http://ask.metafilter.com/146590/Is-NuvaRings-effectiveness-mitigated-by-weight
 
http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/11/26/247226093/emergency-contraceptive-pill-might-be-ineffective-for-obese
 
http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/25/health/emergency-contraceptives-weight/
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Guys’ Night Out at Lane Bryant! (Yes, You Read That Correctly)

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I absolutely love waiting on men at Sephora who are shopping for their wives or girlfriends. They all follow the exact same pattern; they pace back and forth outside the entrance until they work up the nerve to come in, refuse any help from employees, wander aimlessly around the store for 10 minutes while staring, awestruck, at the bright lights and pretty colors, then walk dejectedly toward the cash register to buy the gift card they swore they would not resort to this time. Never fails.

Thankfully, the husbands and boyfriends of curvy gals can breathe a little easier this holiday season. Lane Bryant, the most famous curvy store since 1904, is hosting their first ever Guys’ Night Out, a men’s-only shopping night taking place in 10 select Lane Bryant stores across the country on Wednesday, December 18, 2013 from 5 PM to close. 

While sipping and nibbling on holiday refreshments, you will be personally guided through the maze to find the perfect gift for every curvaceous woman in your life. Not only will you be able to take advantage of special event-only prices, you will also receive a free gift wrap pack with any purchase. If you were a bird in a previous life and get there early enough to be one of the first 25 men brave enough to cross the threshold, you will also receive a free swag bag, plus everyone gets entered to win a $250 gift card for you, not for her.

Below is a list of the Lane Bryant stores that are participating in Guys’ Night Out. I truly hope that you take advantage of this special event. Not only will you enjoy a stress-free personal shopping event, your lady love’s eyes will light up on you, not the gift, the moment she sees the Lane Bryant logo on Christmas morning. Doesn’t that alone make it worth it?

**Lane Bryant’s Flagship Store on 34th Street, 225 West 34th Street, Between 7th & 8th Ave., New York, NY 10001

Lane Bryant on 125th Street, 222 West 125th Street, New York, NY 10027

Lane Bryant at Hamburg Pavilion, 2160 Sir Barton Way Space 109, Lexington, KY 40509

Lane Bryant at Easton Town Center, 4054 New Bond Street, Columbus, OH 43219

Lane Bryant at Eastside Market, 11115 East 71st Street South, Tulsa, OK 74133

Lane Bryant at Arlington Highlands, 3901 Arlington Highlands Blvd., Arlington, TX 76018

Lane Bryant at Meyerland Plaza, 130 Meyerland Plaza, Houston, TX 77096

Lane Bryant at Stoneridge Shopping Center, 2521 Stoneridge Mall Road, Pleasanton, CA 94588

Lane Bryant at Tustin Marketplace, 2795 El Camino Real, Tustin, CA 92780

Lane Bryant at South Center Square, 17250 South Center Parkway, Tukwila, WA 98188

 

**Guys Night Out at the Lane Bryant Flagship Store on 34th Street will take place on December 17, 2013 from 5PM – Close

http://www.lanebryant.com/

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34 Busty Girl Problems and a Directory of Sexy Solutions

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http://humormadness.com/34-busty-girl-problems/10/

http://directory-sexy.com/

A camisole with a “built in bra”? Riiiiighhht! Necklaces that disappear into the dark abyss of cleavage? Yup. Babies that want to sue you for false advertising when they try to nurse and discover that you’re not packing? Been there, done that.

This link to “34 Busty Girl Problems” will give all of us busty gals some comic relief the next time we need to ask the waiter for a bib in order to avoid staining our new blouse. 

I also must tell you about Directory Sexy, an international lingerie directory that is, by far, the most comprehensive source of lingerie boutiques, designers, specialists, and even publications I have ever found. Director Daniel Kraus sums it up perfectly, “This is not your typical static link list styled directory. Included in each entry are links to social networks, images, categories based upon lingerie styles, bra styles, corset styles, general lingerie categories such as Bespoke, Bridal and Sleepwear, as well as contact links and additional company information supplied directly by the company.”

With Directory Sexy, you can discover which designer in your area designs the style bra your girls love the most at a price your wallet also loves. There are even solutions for maternity and mastectomy bras, along with some latex and leather just for fun. 🙂

After all, our bras should not just be functional, they should give us confidence. As actress Aimee Mullins said, “Confidence is the sexiest thing a woman can have. It’s much sexier than any body part.”

 

 

 

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