The PLUS side of Shein

People seem to be wired to like fast things; fast food, fast cars, fast internet. But how much do we love fast fashion? For the masses it’s great, think Supre, Ally, Kmart. But what about for us plus size ladies? Many of these ‘fast fashion’ outlets simply don’t cater above a ‘size 14’ (which really is usually small size 12), leaving us curvier ladies spending the big bucks when it comes to trends and themes. Luckily, the online market is on our side with many ‘fast fashion’ companies expanding their range to cater for curve sizes.

Before starting this blog I was always uncertain about ordering online at all! My biggest concern was because of sizing and the inability to try items, but luckily (with the rise of online shopping) many companies now have very simple returns processes that means I can do ALL the online shopping I want! However I still do tend to stick to major retailers and plus specific brands, which can be rather costly. A company that is now catering both for curvy sizes and to satisfy our need for fast fashion (and is relatively inexpensive), is SHEIN. I had seen a few other plus and inbetweenie bloggers wearing SHEIN before, and had always been curious as to the sizes/quality/was this too good to be true? So when they offered to send me a few items to try, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to test it all out.

I spent a lot of time on the SHEIN website trying to pick my 2 items, it definitely helps if you know what you are looking for, otherwise you could get lost in there! For example, I knew I wanted to stick with dresses so I just stuck to that section. Being my first time with SHEIN, I also wanted to stick to styles that I knew would be ‘safe’ and relatively flattering on my body shape, so things with a fuller skirt and not too short (just to avoid that dreaded ‘way too short’ moment). I ended up choosing the Layered Bardot Dress and the Lantern Sleeve Dress, and stuck to the on-trend red/wine colour theme for autumn. My biggest recommendation for shopping with SHEIN is to STICK TO THE SIZE GUIDE!

Every item has a different size measurement, so I did find that in some styles I would be a 1XL, some a 3XL, some a 5XL ( I’m cutting those tags straight off, I don’t need that silly mentality in my head). So number one rule, check the size guide for every item you buy. I sized up slightly, just to be extra safe (particularly with a wrap dress) and ended up in a 3XL in both of these dresses. I received my parcels relatively quickly (within 10 working days), and have to admit I was quite impressed with the style, quality, and accuracy to the image in the dresses I received. Remembering , this is fast fashion which is reflected in both the price and quality, so sure they may not last as long as some other pieces in my wardrobe, but overall, I was impressed!

 

I absolutely love the colour of this Layered Bardot Dress and feel like it is a perfect autumn addition to my wardrobe. The elastic waist means you can wear it comfortably any where you want, I pulled it up slightly higher on my waist so the top would have over a little bit. In all honesty, I felt like a gypsy, and it satisfied all my nostalgic ‘Hunchback of Notredam’ Disney vibes. The bottom of the sleeves were elasticised too, I had them pulled up at my elbow (on this particularly warm Brisbane day), but you can wear it full length to the wrist. The fills, the tassels, I am definitely digging this style.

The Lantern Sleeve Dress has these gorgeous detailed sleeves, and I adore the frill around the bottom. I was a little weary of it being a wrap style (and not covering my chest properly), so I sized up. I’m definitely glad I did, and I will admit I did still have a few issues with how it sat across my chest. For wearing out I will probably pin the inner side across more, to keep the girls in. But overall, I feel like this dress was another win that I can wear to so many events! It also comes in a really fab blue/bird combo print that I’m obsessed with( I found out after I’d placed my order).

Have you tried SHEIN or any other fast fashion outlets? I think I’ll definitely be sharing more SHEIN with you, and keeping my eye out for those one season pieces that I just need to have. The price is affordable, and I was impressed with the fit and the quality for what you’re paying. If you want to give it a go to, you can use my discount code PRET20 for a 20% discount (off all original priced plus size orders over $59).

Till next time,

kate

 

 

Skincare, what skincare?

Any one who knows my normal nightly routine knows that it consists of bad reality television, cold showers and a lot of insta stalking. Perhaps an extra wipe of my face with a make up wipe after my shower routine. It does not however, contain excessive moisturising, peeling, baking, soaking, scrubbing or any other techniques to aggressively improve my skin. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good exfoliant every now and again (when I remember), but I am definitely not one of those people who have a carefully planned skin care routine every night.

41fUIPIoDRLAs a women in her mid twenties, half of my friends are getting botox, and the other half  are still getting teenage style pimples when they eat too much chocolate. Me, I’m dealing with some serious hormonal cystic acne (which I believe, was caused by using the Mirena as a contraceptive), sunburn and just looking tired 99.9% of the time. So when I was approached by Nerium International, the concept of having to follow a skin care routine was both daunting and intriguing. Once I decided that looking after my skin for once definitely wouldn’t hurt, I jumped on board their 90 faces in 90 days campaign, meaning that I had access to the Age Defying Day & Night Cream (Optimera® Formula)(2 separate products) for 90 days. Although these products are both listed as ‘anti ageing’ products, that wasn’t the main focus for me; (although always bonus points for looking younger, right?!) I was drawn to the promises of hydration, reduced discoloration and fixing uneven skin texture. As mentioned above, I struggled with cystic acne along my chin and jawline, something that I still believe was a side effect of certain medications I was previously on, so the hope that these products could possibly help with reducing that scarring this had left me with (and was continuing to, as I hadn’t yet found a solution to control the acne) was my main motivation.

The 2 products I used, can be found here. I used them for a total of 90 days/ three months over the New Year period (new year, new skin yeah?). The Age Defying Day Cream (Optimera® Formula) is designed to hydrate, smooth fine lines and wrinkles and reduce discolouration and is for everyday use. I applied it first thing in the morning, so it could sink into my skin before I put my make up on, and found it quite light weight to wear all day. It contains peptides, COQ10, jojoba, green tea, shea and cocoa butter and many more fabulous ingredients. From my previous experience in the cosmetics industry I knew that jojoba in particular was hypothetically going to be good for keeping my skin hydrated and reducing my acne marks and scars. Paired with the Age Defying Night Cream (Optimera® Formula), these products were working around the clock to keep my skin fabulous. The Night Cream boasts Castor Seed Oil, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, SAL14, and the companies very own patented SIG-1273® extract. All of these are designed to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and promote brightening and hydration. I applied this each night after a shower (they recommend on damp skin); this one is a heavier than the Day Cream and definitely has a much stronger smell, it is one I had to get used to. However, after 90 days, ta da!

My before (white singlet) and after (green tshirt)!

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In my 90 days (okay, maybe i missed a few days here and there), you can see how much my redness has reduced! I actually never realised what a red face I had! These images are both make up free and taken (probably about) 100 days apart. A lot of the dark red marks on my face from the before image are scarring and marks from acne that I just could not get rid of, so I was more than thrilled to see when that long term scarring started to fade. I also feel like the skin on my cheek bones and under my eyes is a lot plumper and fuller, it basically just looks happier! Overall I feel like not only does my skin look better, but it feels better too! Hydration was always a big thing for me and my face and I feel like these products definitely help to keep my skin smoother than before.

You can see other peoples before and afters with various Nerium products on their website. I also can’t finish this post about my skin without shouting out also to The Petite Stork. While Nerium products have definitely smoothed, recolored and repaired my skin, for the last month I have been using a custom acne essential oil blend from The Petite Stork and can confirm that it has attached my actual acne to the point it has nearly disappeared! For more info or your own blends, you can contact Jade on Insta or email.

Have you found any awesome skin care products lately, let me know below!
Sending love and good skin vibes,

kate

Love those killer curves, with Zest Lifewear

There’s only 1 thing I love more than a local brand, and that’s a local active wear brand! If you haven’t heard of Zest Lifewear, you are already missing out. Started in Brisbane, Sassii (the creator) was fed up with not being able to find attractive active wear in plus sizes (PREACH), so she decided to create some!

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The Zest Lifewear brand is an empowering, versatile, sexy machine; and their goals of empowering curvy women, standing up to body shamers and promoting confidence is one that I support whole heartedly! So I was more than excited to be able to try out some of their products and get involved in their brand. On looking through their range you can easily tell that this activewear does not shy away from the curvy shape (yay!), better yet it embraces it! With designs that skim the waist and accentuate the booty, this range offers a nice change from the baggy and unflattering plus size active wear that’s in the main stream market. Personally, I love active wear! Do you remember when all those parody videos hit the internet about females doing everything in their active wear? Yeah, that was me. Active wear to breakfast, on the weekends, to go to the shops – I totally did that phase. So another thing that really appealed to me about Zest was that these designs also count as fab street wear! Not only are they perfect for the gym, but you can definitely rock them out for your morning coffee or onto the street.

The gorgeous ladies at Zest Lifewear sent me 2 items to take to the streets (and the gym), so I chose the ‘Bitch Please‘ top (I love a bit of sass with my morning coffee), and the ‘Werk It‘ leggings. I followed the size guide on the website, which I found really accurate and got a 18/20 in the top and 22/24 in the leggings.

 

 

For me, I like to steer away from figure hugging tops in the gym and 18 was a perfect fit. The style and cut meant it was easy to move around in and comfortable to work out in. I also love this cut for every day wear, you could team it with some denim shorts and sneakers for a super chic look!

The leggings were also a perfect fit for me, super comfortable and easy to wear. After a few workouts I did decide that my next pair will probably be a size smaller, but that is just because I prefer my tights to be quite fitted on my little belly pouch. I tested out the tights in all sorts of compromising gym positions, running, squats, lunging. And I am proud to report that they survived (my leg muscles however barely made it through)! The smooth fabric of these tights allowed me to bend, stretch and squat while they felt like a second skin. Best of all, they definitely didn’t go see through. I absolutely love the mesh detailing on the bottom of these tights, as it gives them just a little bit of on edge over a plain black pair. I can’t wait to add these to my street style also as I know they’ll make a great statement.

So after giving my Zest Lifewear a bit of a run around and a serious workout, I’m so excited to have found a new Brisbane brand to add to my wardrobe! You can read more about the Zest story and products on their website, and to add some of their pieces to your wardrobe you can use my code PRETTY15 for a 15% discount!

Love,

kate

It’s time to Share the Dignity

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to participate in a new collection photo shoot with some incredibly inspiring ladies for Adrift clothing. Just this morning, this collection has been released! Yay! (Get your hands on it here).

CaptureNot only was a absolutely thrilled to be involved with Adrift, but to be part of such a special campaign in support of Share the Dignity has been something very special. Share the Dignity is an Australian women’s charity bringing dignity to homeless, at-risk and women experiencing domestic violence through the distribution of sanitary items, and funding funerals of those killed as a result of domestic violence. “We believe all women matter and all women deserve dignity and justice.”  This charity is founded and spear headed by female power house Rochelle Courtenay, who I had the absolute pleasure of meeting during our shoot.

Rochelle is Share the Dignity’s founder and Managing Director; the title she is most proud of though is ‘Pad Lady’. This title came about and stuck  while she collected of over 750,000 packets of pads and tampons across Australia over two years. She learned of homeless women going without basic sanitary items during their menstrual cycle.  Most noteworthy, Rochelle decided the question was not “Why is no one doing anything” but rather “ What’s stopping me from doing something?” In March 2015 Rochelle took matters in to her own hands collecting sanitary items within her local community and distributing to local shelters. As a result, a simple idea of giving dignity to women, Share the Dignity has grown into a national charity.  Consequently, it has over 1,500 volunteers Australia wide, and most noteworthy, provides multiple initiatives aimed at giving dignity to women.

As soon as Adrift approached me about this collection I knew I had to be involved. As a victim of domestic violence myself (a story for another time), I could not feel more strongly about providing women and victims with support. This new stunning collection includes gorgeous prints and vibrant patterns, and proceeds from the sale of this entire Blush collection are being donated to Share the Dignity. The target is $9,000; this will go towards a pink vending machine for a school or public bathroom so women in need won’t have to make the choice between buying food or sanitary products. 

 

To find out more about Share the Dignity and their amazing cause, head to SharetheDignity.com Or to shop the gorgeous new Adrift collection, visit Adrift online.

Love,

kate

Tee Time

Hello gorgeous women of all shapes and sizes! I feel like it’s been a little while since I’ve written a blog post, but I have found something so fabulous I need to share it with you. It’s a tee. But it’s basically the best bloody tee I have ever put on my body.

So, back story. A few weeks ago, the gorgeous Rachael at Ruby & Lilli gifted me with some of her gorgeous product, 2 tees and 2 scarfs, to try out, take them for a spin around town. Now, as you may have noticed, I am very much a dress and skirt kinda gal. We’re coming out of winter and my baby elephant thighs (which I love, just fyi), are just not ready to be out on display yet. So in styling these t shirts, I wanted to put my thinking cap on.

The two shirts I’ve styled are 2 different sizes, an XL and a 2XL. Both tee’s fit me well (Note: If you’re looking for a size guide I have 110cm bust measurement), with the bigger style a much more relaxed and longer fit. I now have, in my ever expanding wardrobe, the Tout Va Bien and Sparkle and Sass tees and firstly the material is so soft and comfortable that they are perfect to wear for absolutely any occasion or activity. Secondly, the fit and cut of the shirt is such a nice style, it curves in the right places and even the XL is a great length to wear untucked over shorts or jeans. But my biggest realisation was how much I love the sleeves! The length of the sleeves are short enough to still be classified as a tee, but have just that little bit of extra length in them that means they don’t awkwardly cut into your arm.

I wanted to team my tee’s with something a little different, and style them in a way that I was hoping would appeal to you, gorgeous curvy women, as I know wearing shorts can be a confronting experience for many of us. So I stuck with my skirts! (I’m also obsessed with the whole skirt/sneaker trend right now so I ran with that). My first look was soft and feminine, colorful and flirty, and I adore this Modcloth skirt just as much as my new tee!

My second look was just a little bit edgier, with just the change of my skirt! I teamed my second tee (the larger one), with my City Chic pleather skit, and I loved this look too!! This tee was much more relaxed in a bigger size and you could do it tucked or un tucked, or even a sneaky half in/half out! I love this look for a concert or afternoon drink, comfortable but stylish! I’ve also taken to wearing this tee as part of my ‘activewear’ look, as its a perfect length to pair with tights! (Stay tuned on the IG for this look)

Overall, I’m definitely back on the tee train (choo choo!) and perhaps I’ll even try out a pair of shorts for a new look. I’m holding onto a few gorgeous Ruby & Lilli scarves as well that I cannot wait to team up with some new outfits! Either way, I’m definitely adding these gorgeous styles to my wardrobe staples for sure!

kate