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Finding the right skin care routine is a lot like dating. You are trying to meet a certain number of criteria but are hopefully willing to compromise because, after all, there is no such thing as a perfect match, right? This is precisely the reason I never explored natural, cruelty-free skincare.

Luminance cruelty free skin care

My skin is acne prone AND aging. Therefor I have always turned my nose up at the words “gentle” and “organic” among others. How could they possibly cut the mustard when it comes to my facial needs?

I was apprehensive to try Luminance Skincare for these very reasons. However, I know I have a lot of vegan followers and I wanted to discover a product they could potentially love. So I set my Clinique acne system aside and crossed my fingers.

And holy crap.

Luminance vegan skin care

After one week of using the cleanser, which is vegan yet smelled like fresh farm milk, I was shocked to find no negative change in my skin. It is so extremely gentle. I’m used to scrubbing the everloving crap out of my face and this cleanser only requires three measly squirts and a single splash of water to rinse off. I even went through an entire menstrual period without a breakout using this stuff! So maybe vegan skin care would work for me after all.

Rosewater toner

After cleansing, I used the rosewater toner, which I also honestly initially thought was a lot of hooey. Sure, it was refreshing and smelled amazing but what could rosewater possibly do for my skin? Turns out rosewater is a tried and true remedy for redness. While I don’t suffer from a lot of redness, my skin tone did seem slightly more balanced. It also could have been from no longer using harsh exfoliants though.

I then applied my favorite product of all–the acne serum. A dime-size amount on my still-damp-from-rosewater face does the trick. It is very light and absorbs quickly.

Luminance also gave me a daily moisturizer, but because it didn’t have SPF and that’s a must for me, I wore it only at night and loved it. When I told the company that the only products I continued to use were my Neutrogena SPF moisturizer and under eye cream, they said they could help with that too!

Their organic eye cream has a wonderful consistency that reduced the appearance of my crow’s feet just as well as my Neutrogena cream. It does have a strong smell of chamomile but it doesn’t linger. For SPF protection, I tried their organic sunscreen which is made with cold-pressed raspberry seed oil, which does not have an official SPF rating but is proven to block 98% of UVA and UVB rays. Just one small pump is all that is needed. I was a little afraid to put oil on my acne-prone skin but so far, zero breakouts!

No makeup

Now it’s time for a breakdown:

Pros

  • Effectiveness – My skin looks and feels amazing. No breakouts in almost three weeks!
  • Ethical – Vegan and cruelty free
  • Natural – Gentle, organic ingredients. Nothing complicated on these labels.

Cons

  • Price – While the Luminance products are bigger in size than my Clinique/Neutrogena system, I still think the latter is more cost effective.
  • Glass bottles – Only because I’m a klutz.
  • Scents – These are natural products so you may not be used to the smells. However, they are mild and do not linger.

 

Interested in trying Luminance for yourself? It’s perfect timing because the company is running a giveaway now through November 9 where five lucky winners will get FREE SKIN CARE FOR A YEAR. All you have to do is click the link and subscribe to their newsletter. And if you’re particularly antsy to try them, they will send you a free sample kit when you use code NONTOXIC at checkout. Just pay shipping and it’s yours.

 

So, I love color. Shocking, right? But even I get excited for the wines, grays, and camels of fall. I still like to incorporate color and print as much as possible but definitely lean towards richer, deeper tones to make it seasonally appropro. This is what makes dark florals one of my favorite fall trends.

Plus size floral dress

This gorgeous Melissa McCarthy dress uses a dash of yellow in an almost mustard tone that still pops against black.

Plus size floral dress

I love how effortlessly it pairs with my go-to leather sneakers for a flirty yet edgy fall look.

Plus size floral dress

Obviously, dresses are but one of many ways to showcase a dark floral. Check out these other pieces on my fall wishlist that could easily fit into any wardrobe.

Floral Velvet Print Burnout Kimono

Floral Velvet Print Burnout Kimono

Add some visual interest to plain long-sleeve tees or sweaters with this gorgeous kimono. It would also look killer with a slinky slip dress.

Floral Blazer

floral blazer

All you need is a black tee and jeans let this statement piece do its thing.

Oriental Print Asymmetric Dress

Oriental Print Asymmetric Dress

This flowy little number has plenty of edge and is perfect for early fall when temps are still a tad high to be piling on the layers.

Wandering Floral Print Leggings

Wandering Floral Print Leggings

If you’re planning on living in sweaters and leggings this season, you need this pair. They will instantly elevate any old sweater you have in your dresser.

Plus Jamie Floral Oversize Shirt

Plus Jamie Floral Oversize Shirt

Pair this shirt with any basic black legging and boots for a cool, casual look.

Plus Frankie Floral Printed Cap Sleeve Midi Dress

Plus Frankie Floral Printed Cap Sleeve Midi Dress

Here is a dress that is great for layering with a cardigan, cropped sweater, or even a fur vest to take it up a notch.

Floral Lace Tights

Floral Lace Tights

Texture is just as important as print to give your look depth, which is exactly what these tights will do to any LBD in your closet.

Studio Faux Leather Printed Midi Skirt

Studio Faux Leather Printed Midi Skirt

Leather AND florals? It’s trend overload and a love it.

Plus Size Floral Printed Blouse with Back Detail 

Women's Plus Size Floral Printed Blouse with Back Detail - Ava & Viv Burgundy

For those mornings when you just need to throw on a pair of jeans, a top like this will convince people you still have your skirt together.

Plus Size Floral Print Woven Pants

Plus Size Floral Print Woven Pants

And the same for your favorite white tee. Add these pants and suddenly you are too fancy for life.

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It’s been quite a while since I have done a photo shoot that doesn’t involve pushing a trend or product I love. While I love sharing my style with people, I often forget it is only part of what I love about doing this whole crazy fashion thing. It’s easy to forget that even though fashion is rooted in capitalism and is corrupted and co-opted and used as a tool of sexism and racism, it’s also an art.

Plus size floral dress

About a million years ago, I took professional guitar lessons for a hot second. I was trying to get pregnant and figured I should jump on the baby bucket list items while I had time. I still can’t play more than Karma Police and Oh Comely very, very badly but one thing I did learn was that music and fashion were similar conduits for me.

Plus size floral dress

Arranging chords is just like putting together an outfit. You have some options and there really is no real rhyme or reason as to why certain things go better together than other combinations. And when people try to sell you on rules for how you should pair things, you can take those rules and end up with basics and Bach, or you can ignore them and end up with statements and Stravinsky. My favorite aesthetic and sound has always been dissonance.

Plus size floral dress

Stripes and florals? That is some polyrhythmic shit right there.

Plus size floral dress

Sometimes I think I like putting an outfit together more than I actually like wearing it. While wearing an outfit without an audience isn’t as gratifying and cathartic as screaming to Dillinger Escape Plan in your car alone on a dark night, arranging it can be. That’s the thing I will never need followers for in order to enjoy. This must mean I’m in the right place. For the right reasons.

Plus size floral dress

Being surround by art definitely doesn’t make me want to call myself an artist, though. There will always be that separation for me between what I do and “real” art. The kind people sacrifice for. The kind you can’t sell with your personality, only with your skill and your perspective. And thank god, because my biggest skill literally is my personality.

Plus size floral dress

Plus size floral dress

At least it’s an original.

All photos lovingly taken by Annette of From Annette With Love and Fat Girls Traveling at the SFMOMA. <3

Premme plus size micropleated jumpsuit

So here’s the thing about pleats–they are perhaps the only thing that gets better when smaller. There is just something so special about this micro pleats trend. So when Premme busted out their second collection with a couple of micro pleated pieces, I jumped all up on them. And when I saw one of those pieces was a second version of my favorite striped jumpsuit…

…I pretty much lost my mind.

Instead of going ultra sexy with this piece, I decided to go with a more daytime vibe.

Premme plus size micropleated jumpsuit

This tee is officially my under-coverage go-to when taking dresses and jumpsuits into the afternoon.

Premme plus size micropleated jumpsuit

The texture is so fashion-forward, I can barely stand it. Now let’s move onto to something with a bit more color and sparkle, also from Premme.

Premme plus size micropleated skirt

This glittery emerald skirt will take me right into the holidays and it is a gorgeous match with Premme’s off-shoulder sweater.

Premme plus size off-shoulder sweater

Premme plus size off-shoulder sweater

Bitch, it even has pockets.

Premme plus size micropleated skirt

I love how micro pleats trend is in no way combined to skirts. There are a plethora of ways to try this out for yourself! Here are some of my favorite pieces you can score online right meow:

Micro Pleat Top

Micro Pleat Top

This slinky little tunic will look just as edgy with your favorite jeans.

Polka Dot Print Crepe Pleated Skater Skirt

Polka Dot Print Crepe Pleated Skater Skirt

This flippy little skirt will look killer with those thick tights you’ve been dying to wear.

Plus Size Crinkled Top with Necklace

Plus Size Crinkled Top with Necklace

Leopard prints, shine, and chains–it’s a bit much. Or is it just enough?

Plus Size Micro-Pleat Palazzo Pants

Plus Size Micro-pleat Palazzo Pants

If you loved the look of that Premme jumpsuit but love yourself some separates even more, I’ve got you.

Plus Size Micro Pleated Plunging Romper

Plus Size Micro Pleated Plunging Romper

There’s that millennial pink again.

Plus Size Micro-Pleated Dress

Plus Size Micro-Pleated Dress

This amazing piece plays with micro pleat in a mixed composite to create such a unique treatment. Love.

Plus Size Pleated Metallic Skirt

Women's Plus Size Pleated Metallic Skirt - Ava & Viv

If you’re looking for a piece that will look good with any tee in your closet, here she is.

Plus Size Pleated Metallic Bomber Jacket

Women's Plus Size Pleated Metallic Bomber Jacket - Ava & Viv

I have yet to meet a bomber I haven’t loved and this is no exception.

Plus Size Printed Pleated Cold Shoulder Dress

Women's Plus Size Printed Pleated Cold Shoulder Dress - Ava & Viv

This dress is an exquisite mix of regular AND micro pleats. Plus the color and print are effing perf.

Plus Size Velvet Pleated Skirt

Women's Plus Size Velvet Pleated Skirt - Ava & Viv

Velvet AND micro pleats?! Dead.

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Fall is finally here (sometimes even for minutes at a time) and I can’t wait to cover my life in camel and my lips in bordeaux. Most of all, I am DYING to wear velvet like every damn day. Let me kick it off with this gorgeous gold skirt. You can grab it from Fashion Nova at a discount with code MAMAFIERCE.

Going to the gym shirt

What I love about velvet is the myriad ways you can dress it up or down. I’m all about a mix of glam and punk and this piece looks killer with a graphic tee and leopard sneakers. I got this APT tee from Burger and Friends.

Plus size velvet skirt

Notice I’ve got a little bra peeking out and it is ALSO maroon. It’s all about the little deets.

Plus size velvet skirt

As I mentioned, I already have TONS of velvet but it’s just never enough yaknow? So here is my velvet wishlist for fall chock full of velvet plus size pieces you just might die over. Sorry in advance.

Velvet Bomber Jacket

Velvet Bomber Jacket

You’ve probably already heard of my obsession with Cat & Jack and how I’m thinking of hounding and harassing them into making adult plus sizes. Until then, this jacket should hold me over.

Velvet Sweatpants

Velvet Sweatpants

Sporty joggers and in that millennial pink, too? Yiss pls.

Letter Crushed Velvet Plus Size Top

Letter Crushed Velvet Plus Size Top

I confess, this is actually in the mail on its way to me rn. I wear my truth, damn it.

Plus Melissa Embroidery Detail Strappy Velvet Dress

Plus Melissa Embroidery Detail Strappy Velvet Dress

Embroidery is still my jam and I hope we still see a ton of it transition from summer to fall.

Studio Metallic Embroidered Cape

Studio Metallic Embroidered Cape

Speak of the devil. Holy shit, I need this.

Velvet Wrap Suit

Velvet Wrap Jacket With Satin Trim

Guys. Seriously guys. This suit it everything. Available in separates, of course: Jacket, Pants

Pleated Skirt

Pleated Skirt

Watch me rock this one on my Facebook live video!

Lurex Embroidered Ankle Booties

Lurex Embroidered Ankle Booties

Don’t forget that velvet is a head-to-toe affair.

Velvet Gemstone Statement Choker

Velvet Gemstone Statement Choker

Plus, it’s all about the accents.

There’s nothing I love more than finding ways to get more bang for my buck when it comes to clothes. I always hesitate buying dresses these days, particularly ones that are more revealing. Don’t get me wrong, I love showing a little skin. But I know it’s not an everyday occurrence and I hate when those pieces start to collect dust, waiting for my next “mom’s night off” shenanigans.

Plus size denim dress

Rather than cut this gorgeous Premme dress into separates, I decided to add a little print with this fitted leopard tank! It turns the cutouts into panels and adds a little coverage to the neckline as well.

Premme denim dress

Qupid recently reached out to me to try out their shoes (which I have before and have never been disappointed). However, these silver sneakers seriously upped the ante. I was hesitant to buy pointed-toe sneakers but man, they are still insanely comfy.

Silver pointed toe sneakers

Now let’s move onto an even more bodycon number.

Plus size velvet dress

My clubbing days are few and far between so this gorgeous piece would be wasted on me if I hadn’t come up with this stylish solution.

Plus size velvet dress

A simple graphic tee under the dress provides ample coverage while a flat boot (also from Qupid) creates a killer color combo and easily takes it into daytime.

Plus size velvet dress

Here’s a better look at the kicks:

Burgundy booties

These, like the sneakers, are also super comfy with some stretch at the sides for my peeps rocking some thickness at the ankles.

Shopping Linkies:

Denim dress | Premme
Leopard tank | Ebay
Silver sneakers | Qupid
Velvet dress | Fashion Nova (Use discount code MAMAFIERCE at checkout!)
Burgundy booties | Qupid

**Sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Please support the links that support this blog!

With the party season just around the corner, now is the time to get out there and start shopping for occassionwear. If you are looking for bold and beautiful party dresses, you will be pleased to know that there are plenty to choose from.

Bright and shiny

Perhaps the biggest trend of the fall is the shimmery dress. On the catwalks of New York, Paris, London and Milan they were everywhere. There is no doubt that this trend is going to cross over into the mainstream. Expect to see shimmery silver and gold lamé dresses, and other items, appearing in a mall near you.

Shiny shoes and boots to match

The good news is that picking up shoes to match is also going to be easy because shiny gold and silver footwear is also a big trend for 2017.

If that style of shoes is not bright enough for you, treat yourself to a pair of disco ball boots. They look great almost regardless of what you wear them with. Just be aware that they do tend to shed their sequins easily, so you may want to limit when and where you wear them to keep them in reasonable condition.

Embellished dresses

It is good to see the embellished dress trend of last year continuing into this season. They are very striking and because they are normally made from good quality material and are a little heavier they tend to hang really well. Even after a full evening of dancing they usually still look perfect.

Long and fancy

There really is nothing quite as glamorous as a full-length party dress or prom style gown. There are quite a few styles available, so all you need to do is to try a few on and see which one takes your fancy.
It is also still possible to pick up beaded and embroidered maxi dresses, which are quite glamorous and sexy. Those that feature fuller skirts and softer materials are usually the best option for the curvier woman.

A high neck lace dress

If it is a sophisticated look you are after, a high neck lace shift dress is the way to go. Naturally, they are not for everyone, but if you have the confidence to wear one you will certainly turn heads. If you like the sound of that style of dress, it is worth taking the time to read this. This article explains how to choose the best plus size shift dress for your body shape.

Fun and short skater dresses

If you are looking for something less formal think about buying a skater dress instead. Just be sure to take a long coat to wear over the top if you are likely to have to walk a long way to the party venue. Once you are inside and get out on the dance floor you will be warm enough, but you really do not want to arrive at your party venue with your teeth chattering.

I’ve recently rejoined the world of the office worker (part-time copywriting) and of course, I found my closet bereft of respectable clothes and had to go shopping post haste. Pencil shirts and crop tops used to be my 9-5 jam but I find myself going a lil’ more retro lately. Ruffles and pinafores are back for their fall spotlight and while I normally hate them, they are terribly cute with circle skirts–just like this dreamy camel skirt with an even dreamier lining…which you can’t even see! Rude.

ModCloth circle skirt

So BLOOP, here it is.

ModCloth circle skirt

I admit, it looks off. Bit at least it’s interesting! I’m all for trying things backwards and inside out should the mood strike. Sometimes you end up with happy accidents, like when I wore THIS SKIRT backwards and it looked amazing.

ModCloth circle skirt

Also, these fucking spotted green velvet booties are giving me so much life rn. I really was in dire need of a fall boot and fully plan on rocking these with some boyfriend jeans in the soon time.

Shopping Linkies:

Ruffled chambray shirt | Old Navy
Cheetah boots | Old Navy
Just This Sway midi skirt | ModCloth

**Please support the links that support this blog!

One thing about me–I am a recovering jewelry addict. I used to work in fashion jewelry and owned a bib necklace and cuff bracelet for every occasion. Gaudy doesn’t begin to describe my accessory collection of years’ past. However, when plus size clothing options gradually improved, I was able to put the big baubles down and create some real looks.  But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t legit giddy over Universal Standard’s jewelry collection.

Universal Standard plus size jewelry

Rings are usually always a pain for me. Literally. Stretch cocktail rings are uncomfortable AF and I don’t want to shell out a lot of money on sized ones. So I absolutely love this stackable tile ring and how it pairs with this sleek pendant.

Universal Standard plus size jewelry

Universal Standard plus size jewelry

This quality tee is also from US and it is as so incredibly soft yet sturdy. As part of a capsule collection, it will give me plenty of mileage as it pairs casually with jeans or makes statement pieces for accessible, like these PANTS OMG RIGHT?

Universal Standard plus size jewelry

They are actually half of a jumpsuit I loved but always had issues with the top so *snip snip boom*, new pants are born. I have partied in them, slept in them, then gotten up and brunched in them. They are life.

Universal Standard plus size jewelry

They also look amazing with sneakers.

Shopping Linkies:

Cutaway neck tee | Universal Standard
Pebble necklace | Universal Standard
Tile ring | Universal Standard
MIA bow sneakers | Amazon

**Sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Please support the links that support this blog!

One thing I am living for is all the solutions we are seeing addressing chub rub (inner thigh chafing) in this godforsaken summer heat. My life is immeasurably better for them. Thank you, Universe. However, a summer problem that still gets my goat is shorts riding up, up, and away into my coocoo. No bueno.

how to keep shorts from riding up

I told my husband, in classic infomercial dramatization fashion, there has got to be something out there for this. It’s gotta be like a liner or a little piece of boning that keeps the inner seams straight and prevents them from rumpling. And wouldn’t you know, after a bit of googling, I found just that.

how to keep shorts from riding up

NoRiders come in various lengths in either sew-in or self-adhesive versions. For my trial, I went with the self-adhesive, which is a little misleading because they are iron-on, not stick-on.

The “stays” run under the seam allowance and the patches iron over them. Honestly, the patches don’t stay on for long but the stays stick! Watch me walk in these shorts after a quick install:

Note, these stays are best used with shorts, like these from rue21, that have a “true” crotch, meaning the crotch touches your crotch. I just said crotch too many times. This is because the shorts will stop riding the second the stays reach your panooch.

how to keep shorts from riding up

Also, can we talk about the best $8 shirt in the whole damn world? It leaves me satisfied and smiling. That’s what she said.