Friday, June 19, 2015

Fashion Friday: Stitch Fix Review

Post by Stacy

Stitch Fix
As anyone who knows me will attest, I am a boring dresser. I dress in a wash of jeans and grey or navy t-shirts. I hate shopping, so I tend to have just under a week’s worth of clothing that I actually wear – and this gets predictably shabby due to overuse and overwashing. I drag this sad situation out until the garments fall apart.

Enter StitchFix. A friend of mine told me about it over dinner, and I politely nodded while thinking, “I could never let a stranger pick out my clothes.” But I had been reading about capsule wardrobes, another way of indulging my addiction to simplicity. Except I realized that in order to have a simplified, minimal wardrobe – I would actually have to add to my closet. That’s right, my selection is so pathetic that it doesn’t even qualify as a minimalist collection. So I decided to give StitchFix a shot.

Signing Up
The sign up process was easy and fun. They ask you questions about your size and preferences, and they also have you look at and rate several collections of clothes and accessories. The process was fairly quick and not agonizing, even for a shopping-hater.

How It Works
A stylist reviews your account, and they start shopping. You’ll get five items:  mainly clothes, accessories if you’ve agreed to that, no shoes. You’ll get an email with a tracking number when your order is en route. Once it arrives, you try everything on, and then sign on to let them know which items you’re keeping and which you’re sending back. Returns are super easy – think Netflix – you put returns into the envelope you send and stick it in the mail. The amount of packaging is very low, comparable or less than buying it in the store.

Cost
There is a $20 “styling fee” for each order. That fee goes toward the cost of your purchase (if you buy anything); if you send everything back, consider it a membership fee. They ask you up front about what you’re hoping to spend. (I opted for mid range.) There are no shipping and handling fees. If you opt to keep all five items, you get a sizeable discount. You get $25 credits for referrals. I would have sent one item back (the dress), but the “Buy 5” discount covered the cost of the garment – so I’m going to sell it instead. Bottom line: the first shipment (pics below) cost me $260. It’s more than what I would normally spend, but I wouldn’t usually buy stuff this nice – plus, I saved the cost, time, and agita of driving around to find things on my own.

Pro-tips
·      You have to let them know within three business days what you’re keeping or returning.
·      You may get several different stylists, but you can request to keep a certain one if their picks are better than others.
·      You can adjust the frequency of shipments. Mine is currently monthly, but I plan to slow it down after my closet reaches a respectable state.

Results


Henley Tank with pattern detail & Bootcut Jeans




Sweater with ¾ sleeve and ruched waist




Maxi Dress




Convertible Cardigan w/ pockets
 


Overall, I am very pleased with the first shipment. I love, love, love the Henley, the cardigan, and the jeans. I liked the sweater. I liked the dress, too, but it’s a bit long for me. Everything else fit well, and it is all very comfortable to wear – lots of stretchy fabrics. The items feel like a decent quality for what you pay. Lastly, I feel like the stylist did a good job of choosing items that were partly my style, but also stretched my usually narrow boundaries. I’ve worn everything, and it’s wonderful not to feel so shabby!


My next “Fix” is on the way, and I can’t wait!   

Monday, June 1, 2015

ACTION ALERT: Support the Personal Care Products Safety Act!

Do you know if your personal care products are safe?
Right now, cosmetics companies can put just about anything in their products – even chemicals associated with cancer and endocrine disruption.
Sens. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) have introduced a bill that would require cosmetics companies to prove that their products are safe before marketing them. It would give the federal Food and Drug Administration the power to review risky ingredients.
While many cosmetics companies support the bill, Merle Norman and Mary Kay haven’t stepped up yet! EWG needs you to take action today and tell these companies to support the Personal Care Products Safety Act.
What goes on our skin is often absorbed into our bodies, and that's certainly the case with chemicals in personal care products. EWG's Teen Body Burden study found an average of 13 cosmetics chemicals in the bodies of teenage girls. Among the suspect substances were phthalates, triclosan and parabens -- all of which have been found to alter the hormone system. Enough is enough.
The Personal Care Products Safety Act would give the FDA the power it needs to protect consumers from these chemicals. Many cosmetics companies are working with us to get this bill passed and protect their customers. So why are Merle Norman and Mary Kay sitting on the bench?!
Stand with us today as we call on these two cosmetics companies to put consumers like you first and support the Personal Care Products Safety Act!
Thank you for adding your voice – together we can get carcinogens and hormone disruptors out of our products.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Today’s Tidbit: Praise Yourself




A common thought for many women is, “If I have blotchy skin, if I have dull hair, if my thighs are wobbly, if I’m not thin enough, no one will want me.”  That’s a terrible mind-set that can lead to sheer obsession with appearance.  If you heard these statements from someone else, you would call them hurtful.  Yet, we allow us to hurt ourselves all the time.  Next time when you take a critical look in the mirror, think about the amazing machine your body is.  Your eyes can read and cry, no matter what size and color they are.  You legs can run and bike, even if you forget to wax them.  Your tummy can grow little people inside of you—yes, even when covered in cellulite.  How amazing!  Instead of criticizing what your body looks like, show it a little love by appreciating what it does.  How often do you focus on who you are as a person instead of how you look?  Do you ever say, “Good job, my sweetheart!” or even pat yourself on the shoulder?  Hug yourself and even dot a little kiss at your hand for being positive and kind to yourself.  Self-compassion and self-acceptance are the cornerstones of a healthy attitude toward beauty.  Continual judgment and criticism of our looks keeps us locked in a continuous cycle of unhappiness with our looks, our faces, and ultimately our lives. (p.11)

Gabriel, Julie. Holistic Beauty from the inside Out: Your Complete Guide to Natural Health, Nutrition, and Skincare. New York: Seven Stories, 2013. Print.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Second Annual Beauty Apocalypse Grab Bag Giveaway

Second Annual Beauty Apocalypse Grab 
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Enter to win your very own Beauty Apocalypse tote bag filled with samples and full size make-up & brushes, nail, skin care, and hair care products from brands such as Philosophy, benefit, Smashbox, Josie Maran, Julep, Juice Beauty and many more!









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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Great Toner Debate featuring Orange Blossom Water Toner by Foxbrim.


Post by Beth

PR Sample


It’s one of the hot topics of the beauty world:  Should I use a toner?

Toners are meant to be applied after cleansing, when we just washed away the skin’s protective layer of oil.  The theory used to be that a toner restores the skin’s surface pH levels, but our skin is pretty resilient and will restore its own pH pretty quickly.  What a toner does do is to deliver an extra level of cleansing by removing oily buildup, residue and dead skin cells.  This makes toners especially helpful in treating acne.

Toners also provide hydration and nourishment to the skin.  Humectant formulas bind moisture to the skin, helping it look younger.  Many formulas also deliver an extra dose of vitamins to keep skin healthy.

Most importantly, to me, toners provide an extra layer of protection to the skin by helping to close pores and tighten cell gaps after cleansing.  This reduces the penetration of impurities and environmental contaminants into the skin.

These benefits only come when using the right toner formula for your skin, which is never an alcohol-based “astringent” (your skin loves you, don’t hurt it).




I have recently been using Orange Blossom Water Toner by Foxbrim and it is so, so lovely! 

First—the smell.  The scent is a warm, spicy orange straight from the Mediterranean.  Let me throw some Aromatherapy at you:  The scent of orange has been found to lower blood pressure and to reduce anxiety.  How about them apples…er, oranges?

This toner comes from the bitter orange tree and is 100% pure and natural blossom (or flower) water. Absolutely nothing else is added to this fragrant and skin healing water. Orange Blossom Water, also known as Neroli Oil (or Hydrosol) has gentle astringent and anti-microbial properties to provide skin a fresh and balanced feeling while removing excess dirt and oil.

In addition to just smelling plain wonderful, this toner gives a light clean feeling after use. My skin feels conditioned and balanced.  I have experienced no negative effects from this toner, only positive, harmonious vibes.

Foxbrim does not test on animals.

I received this product for review purposes. My opinions are my own.