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As a person in a long-term relationship, feeling sexy is pretty fucking important. It’s crucial for keeping intimacy thriving. And I can’t rely on someone else’s desire to dictate how sexy I feel in my own skin. Also, after all, that’s not sexy! Independence and confidence are sexy. And sometimes, you gotta go out on a limb to get those things…like take some steamy pics of yourself.

Playful Promises plus size lingerie

This is precisely why I love lingerie so much. It lets me see my body through a difference lens. Every time I select new pieces, I try to do go for a new look each time. Shaking things up is also the key to a happy partnership. So when I saw this bra and panty set from Playful Promises had some “playful” cut-outs that “promised” to showcase my twins in a brand new way, I had to take the plunge.

Playful Promises plus size lingerie

Yep. This is a first for me.

Playful Promises plus size lingerie

Honestly, having my nipples peek out of little holes in my bra just made me giggle. I mean, my boobs make me giggle half the time anyway. Boobs are funny sometimes! But this was one of those things that did elicit a…response from my husband which in turn elicited response from me.

Playful Promises plus size lingerie

While my feeling sexy has to come from within, I have to admit that seeing my body’s effect on someone I love and trust can be just as liberating.

Playful Promises plus size lingerie

I actually wore these underwear for the rest of the day under jeans. Not bad! I also appreciate lingerie you can wear under regular clothing for those who like to spring a surprise on someone. Which I do. That’s the real tragedy about frilly knickers. Love them but make you look like you’re wearing a baby’s diaper under your pant. No bueno.

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.

 

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!

When it comes to denim, I really like to branch out and try new trends. Since I have pairs in my go-to cuts and colors, denim has to be pretty compelling in order for me to add it to my wardrobe. Remember those mom jeans with the plastic knees…I would have. Just sayin. Luckily, I was happy to see some unique styles at rue21, along with some fall staples to pair them with. My new favorite fall must-have–the cropped hoodie.

rue21 ombre plus size jeans

The thing I cannot loathe more about sweaters is how long they tend to be on me (short AND short torsoed) and how hard of a problem that is to fix. Knit sweaters are very hard to alter and sweatshirts can be a bitch to cut correctly. So this solves my problem perfectly and is just the right amount of edge yours truly is accustomed to.

plus size cropped sweatshirt

Now for the jeans, one thing I have yet to try before this is an ombre wash, nor have I rocked a step cuff. I can definitely get used to this. This pair had plenty of stretch so the comfort level was amazing. Also, these are supposed to be crops but you know…short. It’s actually why I love crops. No alteration required.

rue21 ombre plus size jeans

Aaaand my life is also now completely because I have rose-gold sneakers. For. Under. 20. Bucks. *dies*

rue21 ombre plus size jeans

Printed denim is also something I have limited experience with, making these leopard babies all the more crucial.

rue21 plus fall jeans review

plus size savage crop top

And what is more “hard femme” than a lace trim SAVAGE crop top? I can’t wait to patch up this denim jacket. My denim vest was getting a tad full. Also, notice I am wearing the same sneakers in pewter and they are amazing.

Shopping Linkies:

Cropped sweatshirt | rue21
Ombre jeans | rue21
Rose gold sneakers | rue21
Denim jacket | rue21
Savage crop top | rue21
Leopard jeggings | rue21
Pewter sneakers | rue21

You guys have already heard me sing the praises of my friend and photog Suma Jane Dark and the life-giving powers of sexy shoots just for shits. With this next installment of “That Boudoir Life,” I will also let you in on the best kept secret in plus-size apparel that is Curvy Girl Lingerie.

Plus size boudoir shoot by Suma Jane Dark

“Sexy is not a size.” These are the words around which Chrystal Bougon has built her business, which includes both a brick and mortar boutique in San Jose, Calif. and online store at shop.curvygirlinc.com. I’ve shopped at Curvy Girl many times for the perfect anniversary or rando hey remember how hot I am piece of naughtiness. They were even sweet enough to name this badass plus-size teddy after me!

Plus size boudoir shoot by Suma Jane Dark

Blue lace plus size teddy

My least favorite parts of shopping for lingerie is not being able to 100% rely on fit when buying online and definitely NOT wanting to talk to a real person face to face because yes, I can post pictures like this but I am still awkward AF when it comes to having a conversation about my underwear. Luckily, the friendly people at Curvy Girl are always there to take your call and answer any questions you have about a product. They also have a very useful sizing page that gives you size recommendations for each brand!

Plus size boudoir shoot by Suma Jane Dark

Fishnet + Fat = WERQ

Hot pink fishnet plus size lingerie

Plus size boudoir shoot by Suma Jane Dark

Don’t ask me why I decided to go so punk rock in this last shoot. Sometimes my teenage rebellion just pops the fuck up for no good reason and I always have something studded or spiked ready to reflect it. Also, when I saw this on the rack, I knew I had boots to match and couldn’t resist.

Plus size boudoir shoot by Suma Jane Dark

Plus size boudoir shoot by Suma Jane Dark

All photos by Suma Jane Dark. Makeup by Hayley Atherton.

Shopping Linkies:

Blue Lace Teddy | Curvy Girl Lingerie (similar here)
Hot pink fishnet dress | Curvy Girl Lingerie

The other night, I was having dinner with a great friend I haven’t seen in over four years. We picked up right where we left off pretty naturally and obviously since I was one half of the party, the conversation definitely dipped into fashion once or 10 times. Then we delved into denim and how jean shopping is the Antichrist for basically all women, even her who is thin and has more options. By options, I mean, she can put it on. But will it make her feel good and comfortable? Meh.

No matter what number graces the tags in your closet, hunting for jeans can only range from “total bitch” to “literal impossibility.” When I find jeans I like, I buy them in doubles or in every color. When I find that a brand is consistent with their jeans, I send everyone and their mother there. This is precisely why I was a little nervous in reviewing RWN by Rawan. However, since Rawan Ghawi brought plus sizes to Forever 21 and was a buyer for Torrid, I figured this would be a safe try. So here goes:

Pair #1: Limited Edition Rodeo Deconstructed Wash Ankle Fray Jeans

RWE By Rawan plus size skinny jeans

Holy crap, do I love a good distressed jean. Here’s what I also love–a high-ass waist, actual front pockets and semi-thin stretch fabric. On these points, this pair really hit it.

RWE By Rawan plus size skinny jeansOne thing that is a challenge for me is the life of the stretch. Honestly, it’s a hard balance to strike and only one other brand has achieved this for me. This is the one pitfall of this pair. They stretch but then they seem to keep stretching throughout the day. By the late afternoon, it felt like the waist had just given up on me.

RWE By Rawan plus size skinny jeans

However, my ass and legs still felt adequately hugged. If your hips are smaller than your waist, these could be a great fit for you after a bit of breaking in.

Pair #2: Compression Moto Pull On Skinny Jean

RWE By Rawan plus size skinny jeans

These jeans are above all sturdy AF. The denim is thick and durable, hence the moto style. The waistband is wide and supportive. They looked amazing once I got them on but that was a bit of labor. And jumping.

RWE By Rawan plus size skinny jeans

But look at my butt. It is nice to have one or two pairs of “sacrifice my comfort for fashion” jeans and this fits the bill.

If I could combine the wash of the second pair with the fit and fabric of the first, I’d have a near-perfect jean. Overall, the first was my favorite because I can see myself lounging at home AND meeting besties for tapas in them. I’m excited to see what else this brand has in store for us.

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