Stitch Fix April 2017

Stitch Fix recently started offering plus sizes, and since I had been wanting to try Stitch Fix for a while, I jumped at the chance to give it a go since they finally carry my size range!  My first month was not great, and while I posted it on Instagram, I didn’t want to blog about it.  I don’t quite have the confidence (or fashion sense) of all the gorgeous plus size ladies who blog about plus size clothing, and, let’s be honest, I haven’t had that confidence at any size, whether it was a 10 or an 18.  But hey, sometimes if we do things that seem scary, after a while they feel a little less scary, so, here goes nothing.

My second Stitch Fix arrived today and I was eager to see what was in the box.  My first box was styled by Angie, and this one was by Lana.  The styling fee was waived for this box since the last one was a disappointment, and I thought was a nice gesture by Stitch Fix!  I did keep the jeans from the first box, and I’m finding that even though they’re a little outside of my comfort zone in terms of fit (they’re more fitted through the thigh), they are so damn comfortable and look pretty stellar on.  For this month’s Fix, Lana added a note on the styling card:

Welcome back for your 2nd Fix.  I loved looking on your Instagram and your Sheetar website for inspiration!  I’m sorry to see you were disappointed in your last Fix.  I was sure not to include any pink this time.  Since you are looking for more figure flattering tops, I thought you would love the fitted style of the Ink Love & Peace mesh detail knit top.  Pair it with jeans and your favorite boots or black flats and add the Bay to Baubles fan necklace for a night out.  The Gilli Rinna dress will give you that 50’s retro style you’re looking for and will look amazing with some heels and red lipstick for your next special event or wedding.  The Skies are Blue split neck top is an easy style you can pair with jeans on your more casual days.  The Loveappella mesh detail knit top will also look chic paired with a fuller skirt.  Enjoy!

Well, Lana nailed it.  She clearly got a good sense of what I like by browsing around my social media accounts, and NO PINK!  (a friend likes to joke that I’m allergic to pink, I dislike the color that much)  So, let’s go piece by piece..

Item: Loveappella Normen Mesh Detail Top
Cost:
$44.00
Paired With:
Yellow crochet flats (mine), Jeans (last month’s Stitch Fix), necklace (this month’s stitch fix)
I LOVE this top.  It’s a great navy blue color, and the mesh detail on the sleeves is just on the top of the sleeve, so the mesh won’t irritate under your arms.  Super smart.  It’s also a piece I can wear without a cardigan which I almost never do because I like to hide my arms and tush, but I honestly would feel comfortable wearing this without a cardigan.  The fabric is a mid to light weight rayon/spandex knit – it’s not so light that it feels like tissue weight, but it’s just right for spring and fall and feels like a decent quality.  I even have a yellow fuller skirt that may go really well with this – I tend not to wear a lot of skirts since I have a short torso and I feel like they look weird since my waist is so high, but it’s worth trying it out!

Item: Bay to Baubles Zaria Fan Necklace
Cost:
$38
Paired With:
Loveappella Normen Mesh Detail Top
At first, I thought, eh, more jewelery, but it’s a really substantial, heavy piece, and I like that it’s silver and is more of a larger, statement piece.  It does go nicely to dress up the other two tops, and it’s not something I have anything similiar to already.  I’m kind of a little take-it-or-leave-it on this since it’s more than I’d spend on a similar necklace, but again, it is heavier than your average $12 clearance fashion jewelery.

Item: Ink Love & Peace Welden Mesh Detail Knit Top
Cost:
$48
Paired With: 
Jeans (last month’s Stitch Fix), black rosette flats (mine)
The top is plain black, but has a neat mesh detail that runs pretty much from armpit to armpit and down the sleeves a little ways.  This is yet another top that I’d actually feel comfortable wearing without a cardigan (MIRACLE OF MIRACLES, TWO IN ONE BOX!).  It’s a nylon/spandex blend and is just a little heavier than the other top.  The fit is great!  The only thing I’m not sure I entirely like is the shoulder/sleeve construction and how there’s a seam running around the sleeve halfway between my elbow and shoulder, but it’s not enough to make me send back the top.  It’s just a weird design feature.

Item: Skies Are Blue Avena Split Neck Top
Cost:
$54
Paired With: 
Jeans (last month’s Stitch Fix), yellow crochet flats (mine)
I’m not entirely thrilled with this one.  It’s a floaty, polyester fabric, and the fit isn’t great.  You can see how long the sleeves are (note that only my fingers are sticking out of the sleeve) and how far the shoulder seams hang down my arms.  The bust is way too big, but the fit is right around the hips, so if I went down a size, I’d be risking it not fitting in the hips.  I tend to have this same fit problem with most clothes since most plus size clothing is cut for a gal with a larger chest.  I am definitely not that gal, so it means a bunch of excess fabric where my, uh, huge tracts of land ought to be.  I think it’s fixable by taking up the sleeves a little and pulling in the darts around the bust, but it’s a lot of work for something I’m not terribly thrilled with.  It also still falls into that shapeless-sack category that a lot of plus size clothing ends up being with no structure to the body – I tend to prefer tops with a bit more structure and definition to them, and a good fit means they look better than something that shapelessly hangs.  I’d have liked this a lot more if it was a cotton blend or a flannel, or a more structured fabric instead of a breezy, light polyester georgette.  This is also the only clothing piece in my Fix that wasn’t made in the USA.

Item: Gilli Rinna Dress
Cost:
$58
Paired With: 
Cardigan (mine), red heels (mine)
HEYO!  Spot on perfect!  This little number is a dark navy blue with ivory polka dots and doesn’t it just look great with the red?!  The fabric is I think what they call a “scuba” fabric – it’s a textured polyester/spandex blend.  The wind caught the dress a little for the photo, so you can see it has a nice drape, but it’s still a heavier fabric.  The back is a wide crossed back with a little keyhole opening around the waist.  Again (AGAIN), this is a little too big in the chest.  Fortunately, the raglan sleeves are a perfect spot to nip in the excess fabric.  I do happen to have an anniversary and birthday coming up in about a month, so, hey, nice timing!  I think this could also be dressed down a little with a denim jacket and flats as shown in the styling suggestions, or even go a little less retro paired with nude heels and an ivory cardigan.

The total bill for the box comes to $242.00.  You get a 25% discount if you keep everything, bringing the total down by $60.50 to $181.50.  I was contemplating returning the Skies Are Blue Avena Split Neck Top since there are a lot of fit issues and I’m not too keen on the fabric, but considering that the discount takes care of the cost of that top and then some, I’m probably just going to keep the whole Fix and see what I can do about alterations.  I’m no stranger to altering clothes since I’ve never been an off-the-rack body type, it’s just a bummer that precious little ever fits right without some work.

Final thoughts:  This was a MUCH MUCH better fix than the first by miles, and I feel like Lana definitely paid attention to my notes and preferences.  My favorite piece is probably the dress, but I do like the first two tops as well.  The prices are much higher than what I’d usually spend on clothes, but I also feel like they’re better quality, definitely not things I can find elsewhere, plus most of them are made in the USA which is pretty awesome.  In case you’re thinking about trying Stitch Fix and want to give me a little love, here’s my referral link!

Espionage Cosmetics Nexus – April 2017

Another edition of the Espionage Cosmetics Nexus has arrived!  This is April’s shipment that arrived yesterday, so it’s right on time.  The theme this month was, “Birds of a Feather,” and from a spoiler, I knew there would be a Edgar Allan Poe themed wrap, but had no idea what the other one would be!

Nevermore – This glossy nail wrap features ravens and black feathers against a cloudy sky background, with a reference to that famous poem, “The Raven.”  You could almost double purpose this for a little Hitchcockian birds, so it’s got a little bonus content, I think.  Even better is that I love both Poe and Hitchcock, so this one is right up my alley.

Flight of the Moonfallen – This is a nail wrap with a pearl finish and bonus glow in the dark content.  I didn’t recognize this one at all, but thankfully someone on Instagram mentioned that it was a reference to the Saga comic book series.  It’s a really lovely design, taken from the wings of one of the characters, and now that I’ve read up about it, the series sounds like something right up my alley, so I’m going to have to put it on my reading list.

This is an easy month for me since I have a soft spot for Poe, so my vote is definitely going to Nevermore in the epic nail wrap battle.  I’m still pretty fond of Flight of the Moonfallen since it’s a beautiful design, but.. POE!  Either way, I still received both of these and get to wear them, but only one will go on to victory and end up on the website for sale to the public.  The month-to-month subscription cost is $15, and since each wrap goes for $10 on the website, the value definitely exceeds the cost, plus, subscribers get first crack at new designs.  Next month’s theme has already been announced, and it’s, “Keeping Track.”  In case you’re thinking about subscribing and want to send me some love, hit up my referral link!

Medusa’s Makeup March 2017

March’s edition of the Medusa’s Makeup monthly box is here.  The shipment arrived in a pink padded mailer with minimal packaging as usual which I really appreciate.  Less waste!  Two lip products, an eyeshadow and an eye makeup primer made for four products this month.

  • Stick It Eye Primer – 2 oz / $8 – (Product is full size)  Made with natural oils and waxes, this eye primer is a bit stickier than the more velvety finish type primers I generally use.  However, I’d imagine that makes it a fantastic base for shimmery colors that tend not to stay put very well.
  • Eye Dust – 1.5 g / $7 – (Product is full size)  The color this month is, “Wasabe,” a shimmery green that’s perfect for the month that contains St. Patrick’s Day.  I really love getting a new eye color from them every month and this one is the prettiest spring green.
  • Lipstick – 3.5 g / $12 – (Product is full size)  The color received is, “Lydia,” though my container was labelled as “YOLO.”  It’s definitely the purple Lydia, and really not a color I have any use for.  It goes on as a pastel purple and looks a little bit like I’ve transformed into Violet Beauregarde.  It might work as a base under a bolder red color to bring the red into a cool/berry zone, but alone?  I’m just not the kind of person who wears purple lipstick.  It also contains parabens.
  • Lip Paint – 1.5 g / $12 – (Product is full size)  The color here is, “Get Lucky,” which is a bright, bubblegum pink.  It applies on me as a bright, flourescent pink, and I can’t see myself wearing this in public except maybe for Halloween or cosplaying Jem.  The formula isn’t my favorite – even after it’s dried and set, it’s still a little sticky, but it stays put (and is nearly impossible to remove).  This also contains parabens.

The total value this month comes to $39 which is good for a box that only costs $15.95 per month.  Unfortunately, the only products I’m going to keep and use are the eye primer and eye dust, so the value doesn’t quite make up for the cost this month for me.  I know Medusa’s Makeup is a little bit beyond my threshold in terms of bold, unusual colors, but this shipment was particularly bold, I think.  I decided to unsubscribe for the meantime since I’m honestly on makeup overload, and getting two lip colors that are pretty outlandish in this shipment put me over the edge.  I still love the company and their eye dusts are some of my favorites, so I may come back at a later date – I just need a break for now!

Goodbeing Spring Bonus Box 2017

Every time I see emails for these bonus boxes from Goodbeing, I jump on the chance to pick one up.  I had been a regular Goodbeing/Goodebox subscriber until May of 2016, but I still like grabbing these bonus boxes since they tend to be a good value.  This one sold for $30 including shipping and was advertised as being between a $75 and $90 value with 10 products, at least two full size items.  I usually don’t do reviews on these bonus boxes since there are a lot of products to go through and try, but I’ll at least do a list of the products plus values.  My box contained 12 products with 2 of those being full size, one of which was another one of those Rafiki bracelets like the one from February of last year but in a different color.  These were the bracelets that led me to cancel my subscription since they came in two boxes in a row and were not something I was interested in (I can’t believe they STILL have these around).  As someone who isn’t a regular monthly subscriber, I did get a few neat, new products that I haven’t tried before, so this is a great way to dip your toe into what Goodbeing offers before jumping in to a monthly subscription.

  • New Chapter Every Woman’s One Daily Multi – 24 ct / $14.99 – (Sample size is 10 tablets, value of $6.25)
  • Gia Minerals Mineral Blush – 4 g / $24 – (Product is 3 g, value of $18 by volume)  Color is “Splendid Rose”
  • Suntegrity Lip C.P.R. – 2.8 g / $28 – (Product is .5 g, value of $5 by volume)  Color is “Sunny Blush”
  • Moody Sisters Lip Scrub – 1 oz / $9 – (Product is full size)
  • Folium Medica Athlete Potion – 1 oz / $42 – (Product .5 oz, value of $21 by volume)
  • Noctua Diem Cucumber & Seaweed Cooling Mask – 4 oz / $30 – (Product is 2 oz, value of $15 by volume)
  • Odacite CaR Vital Glow Serum – 5 mL / $55 – (Product is .7 mL, value of $1.10 by volume)
  • The Seaweed Bath Co. Restoring Marine Serum – 1 oz / $45 – (Product is .16 oz, value of $7.20 by volume)
  • Derma E Hydrating Night Creme – 2 oz / $29.50 – (Product is .5 oz, value of $7.38 by volume)
  • Osea Ocean Cleanser – 5 oz / $44 – (Product is 1 oz, value of $8.80 by volume)
  • Kahina Brightening Serum – 30 mL / $72 – (1 packet at about 3 mL each, approx value of $7.20)
  • Me to We Rafiki Bracelet – 1 bracelet / $10 – (Product is full size)

The total value comes to $115.93 which is well above the advertised value!  I’m pretty happy with mostly everything that came in this bonus box.  The only things I’m not terribly thrilled with are the bracelet and vitamins, but I’ll end up using everything else which makes the box a pretty fantastic value for $30.  It’s hard to pick a single item that I’m really thrilled about, but it’s probably the a tie between the Osea cleanser and Folium Medica potion that smells SO good.  Honestly, this was a great value for what’s included, and I always like getting these bonus boxes.  Looking forward to the next one!

Espionage Cosmetics BOOM!Box March 2017

IT’S HERE!  Holy crap, it’s here.  The theme for this BOOM!Box cycle was, “Automaton,” and featured all sorts of robot goodness.  I think this was originally meant to ship in February, but there was a delay which was well communicated and WELL worth the wait.  On first opening the box, I was greeted with an insert about the new makeup palettes which should be releasing for pre-order soon.  Under that was a little card about entering to win a free BOOM!Box with posts on social media using the hashtags #ecboombox and #post4boom.  There was also a little rolled up scroll with a note from Marissa Meyer who collaborated on this box.

Just underneath that was something new!  A silver envelope that contained product cards for everything in the box, information on Nexus and Nexus OP, as well as a reminder to check your email for the sale code for the box.  I really love this level-up on the product card.  Having separate pages for each item may use more paper, but it also gives us more information about each product which is nice.

Also inside the envelope were three stickers featuring still more automaton goodness.  There’s nods to the Iron Giant and Terminator, and even a special Espionage Cosmetics robot sticker.  I have to admit that the Skynet FREE WIFI sticker is making me laugh – I’m going to have to stick that to my laptop.

Next up was the Wires and Nerve makeup bag featuring artwork from the new graphic novel by Marissa Meyer, Wires and Nerve Vol. 1.  The bag has some really beautiful artwork on both the front and the back and is lined with a bright orange fabric.  The outer fabric is a heavy canvas while the inside is a slightly lighter nylon, and it has padding between the inner and outer layers.  The fabric choice and padding make this a really stand-out item.  It’s not a cheap cotton bag, it’s a seriously heavy-duty, thick bag and will undoubtedly work great to protect items inside the bag.

The nail wraps this month are GORGEOUS!  We also have some new nail wrap packaging which I absolutely adore.  On the left is, “We’re Doomed,” which is a little nod to C3PO with a quote from Return of the Jedi.  Gold and silver foil accent these glossy nail wraps around a design of exposed wires.  On the right, we have, “U-87,” which is definitely Battlestar Galactica themed.  This is another glossy nail wrap with silver foil accents and one bright red glitter accent wrap.  We also got a brand new nail file – it’s shorter and thicker than the old cardboard ones, but I like the way it looks, and it feels more substantial with the foam core between the two sides.

WOW.  This is the A-Maze-Ing Lantern made by Geekify, Inc.  The lantern came flat-packed in a burlap bag as six pieces.  A little bit of glue and foot-tapping later, my lantern was ready to go!  Two sides have a maze design, one side has the quote, “These violent delights have violent ends,” and there’s a solid back, bottom, and top.  Obviously, if you’re using a tea light candle, you have to remove the top while lit.  The quote is more recently recognized as being from Westworld, but has its origins in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.  When lit, the lantern casts pretty shadows on the wall from the maze design, and I suppose you could even turn the quote side around so it can be read when illuminated on a wall instead of read while glowing through the lantern.  It’s made of laser cut wood and painted brown, and is really a lovely, unique piece.

Our artwork this month comes from Jen Taylor and features Roxie the Robot, a retro glam automaton, self-aware, and done taking orders!  The colors on this print are just perfect, and she’s such a lovely, badass girlbot.

I’m not sure I could even begin to come up with a value for this month, but even just with the nail wraps being $10 each, the cost of $30 per month is nearly covered, and we haven’t even gotten to the value of the lantern, makeup bag, or print yet!  Yet again, they nailed the theme in every single item, and I’m consistently wowed by how well they work a theme in each delivery.  In case you’re thinking about subscribing and want to send me some love, hit up my referral link!