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Stitch Fix December 2017

Wow, so I kind of abandoned the blog for a few months. I feel like my life completely turned upside down since September, and I’m finally starting to set things right again. It’s mostly been good things, but it was a lot of things at once and keeping up to date on the blog just wasn’t happening.  There’ll be more on that later, since it’s some pretty big and exciting news.  I did post October and November’s fixes on Instagram, but figured I’d get back on track with December’s fix finally! This is fix #10 for me and I also got a new stylist this month, Christina.

Christina included a little note at the top of the Fix:

Hi Melissa, Welcome back for a brand new Fix!  I hope you are doing well this week.  Let’s start today with the Kut from the Kloth boyfriend jeans.  These are great to wear on laid back days with the adorable 41Hawthorn polka dot sweater and the Octavia scarf.  For a comfy look on weekends, try the jeans with the burgundy Laila Jayde top and a pair of sneakers.  I read that you were looking for a dress to pair with leggings so I sent the Lemon Tart dress.  It’s great with leggings and a pair of ankle booties.  Have fun trying on this Fix, Melissa!  If you have the chance, I’d love to learn more about you so I can tailor your Fixes to your lifestyle.  Use your profile notes to let me know about your daily routine or aspects of your wardrobe that are in need of a refresh.  Also, be sure to leave feedback on pieces when you check out.  xo Christina.

Sounds good!  Everything included is very seasonal for late fall and winter, and I adore that she picked up on my love of polka dots (I mayyy have a problem, but it’s fine!).  On to the pieces…

Item: 41 Hawthorn Gilda Polka Dot Pullover
Paired With: Jeans (prior fix), boots (mine, my favorite boots)
I wasn’t sure about pairing this with the scarf (below) as suggested since it felt too clashy with patterns.  I absolutely LOVE the polka dots, but I think this might be a little big/long.  It fell pretty much at the widest part of my hips since I have a SUPER short torso.  Pretty much everything that isn’t cropped or empire waist is way too long or big on me.  I’m really torn on this one – it’s a heavy double knit sweater, but I think it’s just too long both in the body and in the sleeves.  Going down a size would probably make it too tight around the middle, so I think I’m going to have to send this one back.

Item: Kut From The Kloth Kate Boyfriend Jean
Item: Laila Jayde Cindy Slub Knit Raglan Top
Cost: $64
Item: Octavia Russo Plaid Reversible Infinity Scarf
Cost: $34
Paired With: 
Boots (mine)
Okay, let’s start with the jeans.  They’re Kut From The Kloth brand, so they’re super soft and comfortable, but I think they may be a size too big.  I know I’ve shrank a little over the past two months, so I may even be between sizes which makes these just a hair too large – I can take them off without unbuttoning/unzipping them.  Also, uncuffed, they’re about 2 inches too long, so I have to cuff them so I don’t walk on them though it appears from the style card that they’re supposed to be worn cuffed.  I’m kind of torn on these too – I may have a go at exchanging them for a size down since I think they’ll be cute for Spring/Fall with sandals as well as boots and sneakers.
The top is probably my favorite piece out of this fix!  I love the burgundy color, and the sleeves even have a cute little patch detail on the elbows (just an extra reinforced section in the same color fabric).  The cut is just right – nips in a bit at the waist, and flares out for the hips without being too clingy.  I know this will go perfectly with the olive cargo skinny jeans I got a few fixes ago too.
The scarf!  I did want something like this for fall and winter to layer over other pieces, and the colors are so great, not to mention that it’s double-sided with two different prints.  Really a nice scarf too.  This is a keeper.

Item: Lemon Tart Lindsay Dress
Cost: $78
Paired With: 
Boots (mine), leggings (mine)
I included two photos to show that no matter what I did, this dress just didn’t fit.  It’s the right idea – the print is great and it has POCKETS (!!!!) – however the cut/fit is WAY off for me.  Again going back to me having a short torso, any dress with a waist has to be an empire waist or it ends up hitting at the top of my hips.  You can see in the first photo, with the dress left to fall where I think it should, it’s scraping the top of my hips, about 4 inches below my waist.  In the second photo, I pulled it up a little (still below my waist) and let it blouse over which looks even worse with all the extra fabric hanging there, making me look larger.  Nothing I did could make this dress look good on me.  It also kind of falls into that unfortunate trap that a lot of plus size clothing falls into – a shapeless sack with a drawstring.  When plus size clothing is structured and fit well, it’s really flattering, but shapeless sacks just makes plus size gals look like shapeless blobs.  I get the urge designers have to make clothes that ‘hide’ everything, but sometimes it goes too far.

Anyway, I’m definitely keeping the burgundy top and the scarf, and I think I’ll try to exchange the jeans for a smaller size.  I know I emailed Stitch Fix before about exchanges, and if for any reason the smaller jeans don’t work, I can return them for a full refund, no problem, which is pretty generous.  The dress and polka dot sweater are definitely going back due to the fit issues.  I know it’s a little bit tricky for me to find clothes that fit well since I’m both plus size but also teetering on the border of petite and regular misses (petite jeans are too short, misses are too long, but misses “short” length tend to be fine – same with tops).  I mean, it’s part of the reason why I’m doing Stitch Fix, so that I’m exposed to new brands that may fit better (Torrid tends to be my go-to since their fit model is basically my body double, but I’d love to have other options), and so that someone else who isn’t me may be able to say, “Hey, I saw this thing that I want you to try, no commitment, but at least give it a go.”  I can get a little stylistically stuck in a rut sometimes!  Looking forward to what Christina picks for me next month!  In case you’re thinking about trying Stitch Fix and want to give me a little love, here’s my referral link!

EDIT 7 Dec 2017:
I did get the exchange on the jeans and the size down fits PERFECTLY.  I mean, no gap in the back, falls just right across my hips, nice amount of stretch but not too tight.  It’s like they were made for me.  So glad I gave the exchange a go because they really are spectacular jeans.

Espionage Cosmetics Nexus – August 2017

Another round of Espionage Cosmetics Nexus arrived, and this month the theme was, “Cheat Codes,” featuring some brand-spankin-new packaging for the Nexus nail wraps along with the debut of the new 22-tip sets in this subscription!  It’s pretty neat to see specific new packaging for the Nexus wraps as well as less paper packaging – keep it simple, right?  So, basically, the pouch is what’s inside the new packaging, but for the Nexus shipment, there’s a fancy Nexus logo on the front.  The only thing missing is the nail wrap name and what kind of wraps they are (glow in the dark, glossy, pearl, etc), but I suppose I can keep the card with the wraps so I remember (or just refer back to my blog, duh)

  • Hit the Bricks – This glossy nail wrap also has a glow in the dark feature that hints to a location of wizardry.  I’ll admit that I had to look this up since I’m not into Harry Potter, but it’s pretty clever to hide the message in the glow in the dark feature!
  • Unbreakable Code – This one I got right away since I LOVED The Bletchley Circle miniseries.  Those would be the dials of the Bombe decryption device designed by Alan Turing, and a sample of the German code they were decrypting during WWII.  If you’re a nerd and want to see the original pages, check out this link.

Overall a pretty neat delivery for the theme!  I was expecting something completely different (some gaming cheat codes?) but it’s so neat that they always keep me on my toes or pull something completely different out of their hats than what I expect!  Both wraps usually retail for $10 on the website so the cost of $15 per month is worth it.  Only one will go onto glory for regular sale after a round of voting, but I think I know which one I’m rooting for already.  I’m definitely partial to the Unbreakable Code one because history nerd over here.  If you’re thinking about subscribing and want to give me a little love, click here to sign up via my affiliate link.

Espionage Cosmetics BOOM!Box August 2017

The latest quarterly round of the Espionage Cosmetics BOOM!Box has arrived!  The theme this round is, “The Perfect Storm,” so I had an idea of what might be involved here, but as always, was surprised and pleased to see what showed up in the box!  This time around, we have a sheet that explains all the products in the box that also doubles as our art print on the other side which is exactly what’s printed on the mousepad as well.

  • Weather Witch Nail Wraps – These great wraps have glitter and glow in the dark content, so they’re extra bonus awesome!  Could this be a subtle nod to everyone’s favorite weather witch, Storm from the X-Men?  They fit perfectly with the theme.
  • Electrostatic Spark Nail Wraps – Glossy and glow in the dark on these wraps which feature a perfect storm of lightning strikes.  These are so fun and will be a great last-gasp-of-summer manicure.

  • Cyclone Bookmark – This heavy brass bookmark features a domed medallion with a tornado inside.  It’s a really substantial piece and will go great to mark my place in any book albeit I feel like I may have to re-read The Tempest just because.
  • Lucky 13 Lacquer Quick Dry Top Coat – This is SUCH a smart idea to add into this box!  The top coat by Lucky 13 Lacquer is honestly the quickest drying top coat I’ve ever used and it works incredibly well with the nail wraps (yes, I had to try it out right away!).  The brush is nice and wide, so it can cover a whole nail in pretty much one pass, and it dries to a thick, glossy finish that protects your nail wraps without shrinking or curling the edges.  It’s also 4-free.

  • Mouse Pad – This elemental beauty is a creation of Suzanne Van Pelt and is printed on a mouse pad.  She looks as if she’s getting ready to hurl a fire-ball, standing in front of a stormy background.  This gal fits in perfectly with the theme, and it’s neat to see a mouse pad in this box!
  • Product Sheet – The back of this is the same image as the mousepad, but what a way to double task and use less paper!  The design of the product sheet is pretty great, so I couldn’t help but include it here too.
  • The Three Wise Cats Incense – This scent was created just for this box by The Three Wise Cats and is a really pleasant scent that’s reminiscent of the way the air smells after a storm.  It’s fresh and clean and not at all like traditional hippie patchouli incense.  It smells SO good that I have half a mind to keep the bag by me here at the computer while I work since whenever I walk into the room, it smells so nice.

It’s always hard to put a value on these boxes, but the nail wraps alone are worth $20, and the box costs $36.25 including shipping, so the value definitely exceeds the cost.  The value of the exclusive items that are only available with this box though make this pretty priceless!  They always fit the theme into every product selected for the box and I’ve never yet been disappointed.  The theme for November’s box has already been announced, and it’s, “Frozen,” which, YES!  Perfect timing for that theme, and it’ll be interesting to see what they pull out of the nerdiverse to deliver on theme.

If you want to give me some love and save a little at the same time, check out my referral link here!

Sephora Play! August 2017

August’s Sephora Play! arrived and it’s not at all nearly as good as the last one.  The theme for August was, “The Innovators,” which again, not a lot of innovation here.  Most of those products have been around for a while and are nothing new (UGGH DRY SHAMPOO)  I think the only thing I’m keeping and using out of this whole box is the perfume which is a bit of a surprise, but none of the products really fit me at all.

  • Too Faced Mascara Melt Off Cleansing Oil – .23 oz / $17 – (Product is .04 oz, value of value of $2.96 by volume)  I received this in the August 2016 Glossybox, so yeah, this is no new or innovative product.  I gave it away back then and I’m giving it away now too since it can barely be called an oil anyway.  A real oil doesn’t come in till the 6th and 9th ingredients with petroleum-based ingredients ranking higher.  Not interested.  I can use plain olive oil to remove mascara and it doesn’t contain garbage chemicals that could irritate my eyes.  The company is cruelty free, but they’re owned by Estée Lauder who is not cruelty free.
  • Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer Creme – .22 oz / $26 – (Product is .065 oz, value of $7.68 by volume)  The color I received is “Light #11” which is too light and too yellow for my complexion.  I didn’t find that it concealed well, and it caked/creased into my wrinkles.  I also have pretty dry skin and I’ve heard that this line isn’t the best for people with dry skin.  I’ll have to give it a try as an eyeshadow base because otherwise, it’s a garbage toss for me.  Kat Von D’s entire line is completely cruelty free.
  • Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream – 8.1 oz / $45 – (Product is .81 oz, value of $4.50 by volume)  I’m always skeptical about products that claim they can firm or tighten or minimize any part of your body because they’re generally scientifically unproven malarkey.  The scent on the cream is nice – it smells like a sugar cookie – but a little overwhelming and super heavily scented, and it works well as a moisturizer, but I’d never pay $45 for a tube of moisturizer that will never actually do anything to firm your tush.  The company is cruelty free though, so that’s nice!
  • Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo – 1.8 oz / $12 – (Product is travel size)  NO DRY SHAMPOOS.  I know I have my profile marked to curly and dry hair, so this is an absolute waste to send to someone with that profile.  Dry shampoo works by absorbing oil since they’re generally starch/alcohol based, but if your scalp doesn’t produce oil, dry shampoos turn your hair to chalky white straw.  Not to mention that they need to be tousled or brushed in and you NEVER EVER EVER BRUSH CURLY HAIR (unless you want to ruin your curls and walk around with a lion’s mane, then by all means…).  Hard pass on this one.
  • Beauty Blender Micro Mini – 2 pieces / $18 – (One piece, value of $9)  Meh?  I have a full-sized one that I got from another box at one point, but I never use that either since I rarely to never use foundation or concealer (except on pimples, and my finger tips work just fine for that).  I have a feeling I’m going to try and find a use for this, and it’ll eventually end up in the never-used-beauty-products-graveyard.
  • Kat Von D Saint & Sinner perfume – 50 mL / $65 – (Two samples, 1.5 mL each, value of $3.90 by volume)  There are two little samples here, one of each scent, Saint and Sinner.  It’s a neat idea to have both a floral and a warm/spicy version of a scent so that you hit both sides of the perfume coin.  Saint is heavily jasmine based, so that one was pretty much out right off the bat since I find jasmine (and most florals) pretty awful.  Sinner though, is primarily patchouli, wood, and cinnamon which is definitely something I’d wear!

The overall value of the box comes to $40.04 which is about average for this box that costs me $10.60 including tax.  Unfortunately this one was a huge miss and I didn’t even hit break even on the value of the items I’ll keep and use (the bum bum cream and half the perfume).  Sephora, it would be really great if you’d just pay attention to profiles and stop sending dry shampoo to us curly girls.

Vegan Cuts July 2017

July’s Vegan Cuts Beauty Box arrived on time as usual, but slow blogger is slow.  I wasn’t entirely impressed with this one since it was a little off the mark for the kinds of products I like (I find natural deodorants completely ineffective and don’t take baths, so..), but there were enough keepers to make the box worth it in the end.

  • Moon Souls Lunar Soak – 4 oz / $11.95 – (Product is full size)  The soak is salt based, scented with mint and eucalyptus, two of my least favorite scents, so this is an automatic pass for me.  I can’t stand eucalyptus (it smells like those gross cough drops that make my stomach turn) and mint is a nope too.  I don’t terribly enjoy soaking in a bathtub with my dead skin cells and dirt anyway, so this just wasn’t a good fit from scent to product type.
  • Green Tidings Lavender Deodorant – 1 oz / $7.99 – (Product is full size)  The scent is nice, but I’m not even going to bother wasting time on yet another natural deodorant with the same ingredients when none of them have worked long enough to be worth using.  I mean, what’s the point of a deodorant that lasts maybe a maximum of 4 hours before needing to be reapplied if you’re routinely out of the house for 8+ hours at a clip?!  I can’t exactly be taking breaks to go reapply deodorant in the middle of photographing a wedding, and being stinky while working isn’t an option.  Hard pass for me.
  • The Wonder Seed Facial Scrub – 2.7 oz / $14.95 – (Product is full size)  I love a good scrub!  The ingredient list on this is really amazing too.  The scrub doesn’t foam up, but works into a creamy base that has a good, coarse salt in it to scrub.  After rinsing, my skin felt moisturized instead of dry and tight, so that was pretty awesome.  The scent isn’t overwhelming either – light and clean.
  • Leeanni Eco 3 in 1 Revolution Light – 4 oz / $29.98 – (Product is .5 oz, value of $3.75)  This is a moisturizer, toner, and serum all in one and can even be used to remove makeup.  It feels rather weightless on and would be a great daytime moisturizer.  There’s no discernible scent, and it did make my skin feel soft.
  • Terre Mere Mineral Bronzer – 9 g / $54 – (Product is 2.5 g, value of $15)  The color sent in the box is “Sunstone” which comes out as a more orangey tone on my skin.  It’s also got a shimmer to it, so this is never something I’d use as a bronzer since sparkly skin isn’t my thing.  It will make a great eyeshadow color though, and it’s super pigmented, but I couldn’t see using this as a bronzer without feeling like a glitter bomb went off on my face.
  • Goddess Garden Sunscreen Lip Balm – .15 oz / $3.99 – (Product is full size)  The scent is “Orange Vanilla” but there’s really not much of a scent at all, at least not to me anyway.  Still, a lip balm with a physical blocker instead of a chemical blocker is awesome and something I’ll definitely use!

Overall, the value of the box value comes to $57.63 which is great for a box that costs $22.95 on a month-to-month basis!  Even without the two products I’m passing on, the box cost is still covered.  I do love this box for the most part, but am definitely not into natural deodorants or bath salts/soaks.  They did add a note that the bath soak can be put in a muslin bag in the shower and used as a steam bag at your feet or hung from the shower head, but I found the scent so unpleasant that I wouldn’t use it anyway.  Oh well, one of my friends will love it, I’m sure!