I have a love-hate relationship with Target. It’s one of those stores that frustrates me constantly with its mediocre-at-best plus size clothing selection, while also pleasantly surprising me with the occasional awesome piece. Shopping in the store isn’t exactly fun either. Target said they were revamping their plus section, and they did to a certain extent by coming out with the Ava and Viv line, but actually shopping in the store is the same: racks mixed in with clearance and maternity racks, few styles actually in store to try on and purchase, etc. After a little hunting yesterday, I found this black and white striped maxi dress hidden in the racks, and yet again I was both glad for and annoyed at Target.
Maxi dresses are my go-to in spring and summer, but they are often sleeveless or too formal. While I love sleeveless dress for outside events and to throw over a swimsuit, I usually want some type of sleeve for work or for other indoor activities. Because of this issue, this dress really appealed to me with its long capped sleeves. I usually only find plus size clothes that are 3/4 length sleeve, full sleeve, or sleeveless, so this is a nice in-between: long enough to be comfortable and different enough to stand out from other pieces in my closet. I also liked the horizontal strip at the end of the sleeve.
I also liked the sporty feel to the dress with the tie at the waist and pockets. Sporty isn’t a word I’d typically use to describe my wardrobe, so this was as “sporty” as I probably would go. I plan to wear it with colored tennis shoes once I get them in the mail. I assumed at first that the tie would be too low on the waist for me, but I enjoyed the shape it created.
I am slowly building up my tolerance to accessories. I value them aesthetically, but rings and necklaces get on my nerves when wearing them. One accessory I can get down with is a good purse. A colorful, patterned purse goes well against this black and white dress, and I liked that this Aldo purse had a small amount of stripes to tie back into the dress. I think most purses would go well with this piece. You could stick to a neutral or put in a pop of color to have the piece stand out (similar purse here).
I love the ease of this piece, how put together you can look with minimal effort, and how comfortable it is to wear. I even got a compliment on it within 2 hours of putting it on — it’s just a piece that does stand out.
This is one piece that I’ll go out on a limb for and say it’s worth searching out the racks (or saving your peace of mind and ordering online :)).
I started wearing make up in middle school, just simple things like lip balm and blue eyeshadow :-p. About 15 years later, I finally feel like I’m starting to get a hang of this make up game, mostly due to finding the right products for my face and a little help from youtube. I thought I’d post my favorite products for you to see, and risk never having someone love me again because of the faces I’m making here.
Step One: Starting a base
My biggest issue with achieving a look I want is the dark circles under my eyes (which always lead people to ask me if I’m sick or tired), and blue-ish tones under various parts of my skin (yay for being Italian). The blue-ish tones are an issue for people who have PCOS as well. I always start my make up process with a CC cream, which is a color corrector product. I have blue, yellow, red tone — all over! Almay’s CC cream is very light, and while it does even out my tones slightly, I mostly use it because it has the right amount of moisture for my skin and sets a good base. I love the way my skin feels after using it. I apply this with a wedge sponge.
Step Two: Concealing dark spots
The CC cream does not, however, cover the blue tones on my face. I have tried so many concealers. Read that very slowly because my search for a good concealer really was a multi-year struggle. But I found one!! That I LOVE! I finally broke down and went into Sephora and explained my issues with my blue tones. The person who helped me let me take a sample of Benefit’s Erase Paste in Fair and their brand’s color correcting product. As soon as I started using the Erase Paste, I knew it was what I was looking for. The consistency is kind of pastey. It’s a little sticky, and that works well for getting it to not just come right off as you apply it. I put it under my eyes, above my upper lip, and chin, and then I use a cheap beauty blender to even it out. You can put this on heavier or lighter depending on your need. Again, LOVE this product. It’s awesome!
Step Three: Applying foundation
I’ve used different kinds of foundation. I’ve tried Bare Minerals powder foundation, and then their liquid foundation. I saw that a good number of youtube vloggers were using Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation Stick, and I was looking for more coverage and decided to go for it. I had someone in Sephora color match for me, which worked in my favor because I would have bought one that was too light. I like that this product can be applied lighter or heavier. Right now I put a swipe on both cheeks, chin, and forehead, and then I use a brush to blend it all over.
Step Four: Warming up
I used to just want to cover blemishes. I would only use concealers and foundations, completely washing out any color from my face. I learned that when you make a base (foundation), you have to add back color, which is why so many women do contouring. I don’t often use the Mary Kay Bronzer because it is pretty strong, but sometime I will use it for slight contouring. I mostly use this Physician’s Formula Bronzer in “Healthy Glow” (almost out in my pic!), and it just adds a little warmth back to my face without it being too strong.
Step Five: Blush
Blush is the product that I have the hardest time with in determining what is too much or too little. I remember my mom telling me that I needed to wear it (again, I used to wash myself out with just foundation), and so I started wearing it. It surprised me that this Sephora blush in a pink-orange color looked most “natural” for me when wearing it (Color 05). It matched my own natural blush. I sometimes apply this and then need more or need to rub a little off. Hmm.. make up is hard sometimes🙂.
Step Six: Eye focus
I don’t often wear eye shadow or eyeliner, but if I do want eye shadow, I reach for this really easy bronze color from Mary Kay. I’ll admit that I was skeptical of Mary Kay (I am about most companies who have this seller model for some reason), but I really like some of their products–this being one! It’s their cream eye shadow in iced cocoa, and I really like the consistency as well as the pigmented color. I also really like their mascara. Mascara was also a hard thing for me to find. I used Bare Minerals for a long time, but their version started clumping really easily and didn’t make my eyelashes pop. I now use Mary Kay’s Ultimate Mascara, and I don’t plan on finding a new mascara any time soon.
Step Seven: Final touches
I don’t really do lipsticks or lip glosses. I get annoyed with them or the color looks off on me. Lip balm is my go to, though. I really like Burt’s Bee’s Tinted Lip Balm. I’m wearing Red Dahlia here, which is their darkest color. I also like their Rose color (brighter red) and their Zinnia color (orange/coral). I also included images of two other products I sometimes use: NYX highlighter and Make Up For Ever Microfinish Powder.
I am in no way a make up expert, but I am happy to say that I have found things that work for me — a make up look that makes me feel good and matches how I like to look. I am still open to finding good eyeliners and blush tips or any other great finds you’ve come across, so if you have any, please leave them in the comments!
P.S. Please say you still love me after seeing these pictures🙂
The past month of my life has been a whirlwind of activities. Between finishing up the semester, having a heap of grading to complete, attending a bunch of events, and trying to make time for sleep, I was exhausted and a little concerned about my long week of traveling. I was looking forward to these trips for awhile, but I hadn’t considered that I would have been so busy leading up to the trips. My apartment was a mess, I was having to stay up late at night to pack — yikes! Luckily, I did make it on the road, got through some storms on the way, and ended up having a good time.
Content warning: In this post I discuss my history with dating, mine and other’s ways of seeing fat bodies, and assumptions and beliefs I held and hold about dating. My narrative here implies relationships are heterosexual and monogamous, which is just the way I envision and have my personal romantic relationships. I know that romantic relationships can be structured and experienced in multiple ways, so I wanted to warn about my limited discussion here.
Most people have entered the dating world long before 27, and I suppose I had my few experiences talking to and “dating” a few people throughout my late teens and early twenties. It wasn’t until late into my 27th year, though, that I met someone that I actually dated, someone who I talked to every day, saw multiple times a week, and formed a relationship with.
Today I’m attending an academic conference about writing, so I decided on a professional but fun dress by Anna Scholz for Simply Be.
What are you wearing today?
Wooohooo! Wedding day post! Not mine, of course, because I am perpetually single, but my brother and Brittany’s! This day was so perfect. A week and a half prior we were having non-stop rain, so the glorious sun and slightly chilled autumn air felt truly magical. The wedding was at an outdoor venue, and was decorated beautifully. Everyone was in a good mood (which for my family is sometimes hard :-p), and the bride and groom’s joy was palpable.
Figuring out what to wear to an evening, outdoor wedding of your sibling is a little complicated (or maybe I just made it that way). I knew it would be cool/cold, so I wanted long sleeves and a long length, not so easy to find! So many dresses in plus sizes are sleeveless, and it was hard to find a long dress that wasn’t styled like a summer-time maxi dress. I found a dress through ASOS, but it hugged my stomach. I went back and forth about wearing it because, while I liked the dress and felt good in it, the idea of seeing so many people from high school and having formal pictures taken reared my insecurity’s ugly head for weeks. Let’s just say that 5 years later with blogging about my body size and fashion, I’m realizing that body acceptance is constant work and practice for me. I finally just went for it. I liked the style and the color, and I was going to have to just get over the fact that it hugged my stomach and that it would show in pictures.
I was right. It did hug my stomach, especially in pictures, but I also felt awesome and confident in it all night. My confidence made the night fun and memorable. I danced, I played off awkward moments well, I talked to people I hadn’t seen in years and people that I just met, and I was able to forget my insecurity enough to put the attention where it needed to be: Danny, Brittany, family, and friends.
My cousin, Blythe, and me – She’s now my roomie!
This moment was one where you are forced to recognize how adult your little brother is. I’m really proud of the man he is and how he values Brittany as a partner.
Mom and me
Sister Katie and me
I mean, look at my brother’s smile🙂. So happy for them both. Love you, Danny and Brittany!
This weekend was my brother’s wedding, and he married the wonderful Brittany, who you may recognize because she came with me to FFFWeek back in 2013. It was a really exciting weekend, and we had been looking forward to these events for months. I probably (most definitely) had been worrying about what to wear to both the rehearsal dinner and wedding a little too much, but the weekend came and all went well. I’ll have to discuss shopping for a dress in another post because as much as we like to think plus size fashion has gotten so much more accessible, shopping size 24+ is still an overwhelmingly frustrating experience.
But! Back to the good stuff :)
My sister Katie put in so much time decorating and setting up for the rehearsal dinner, which was held in my parents’ back yard. It was beautiful! She painted jars, set up candle displays, made bouquets. and set up a loving mood.
I had originally planned to wear an olive green dress from ASOS, but I wasn’t completely happy with the dress, so I decided to keep looking. A couple days before the rehearsal dinner, I decided to check out Dillards at my local mall. I don’t think I’ve ever shopped there before. I imagined it to be like Kohl’s, but it’s definitely not. I was really impressed with how many semi-formal options they had, and how large of a space their plus size selection was housed in. I ended up finding this sparkly Jessica Howard dress that is 100x better in person than through pictures. I had to laugh because the dress was a size 22, and I must have tried on 10+ dresses in a size 24 that didn’t fit. I had given up on finding anything in store when I spotted this number, and it was on super-sale for $35!
I finished the look with gray wedges from Target and earrings and a bracelet from Charming Charlies.
My sister Katie and brother-in-law Brandon
Brittany and me
The whole gang of Agosta siblings and spouses.
P.S. I’m officially the only one (out of 4 total) of my siblings who is still single and unmarried. Do I win an award? I should get something for always ending up on the end of the table or the end of pictures 😉
I’ll share picture from the wedding soon, and will continue to blog sporadically on here. Thanks for checking in every couple months!