Plus size Valentine’s Day outfit idea 4: Polkadot perfection

 

Doing something a little more casual this V-day?
No excuse not to feel at your cutest.
This polkadot circle skirt brings out all the cute for me – I feel like a little Betty Boop, or Minnie Mouse (just need the ears!)

What makes it extra special is that it was made by fellow blogger Michelle from Ordinary Misfit, initially as a hobby, and now as a new business.

The skirt is totally profesh, with an elasticated waistband (comfortable!) and lining. I love the froof of tulle at the bottom – such a gorgeous detail. Polkadots are a favourite of mine (yes I know you know that already) and I find the styling options to be limitless – so many colours, mix with other patterns or statement items, casual or dressy. A great investment piece, really!

So come on, click through to support local and score yourself adorable new threads! What makes it even cooler is she custom makes for your size (besides, circle skirts are flattering on everybody and their cats), and her rates are incredibly reasonable.

 

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Skirt: Ordinary Misfit
Shoes: Rosie Toes
Hair cut and colour: StyleBar
Photographer and Stylist: Simone from Yellow Papaya

Plus size Valentine’s Day outfit idea 3: The Tropical Temptress

It’s summer time, so let your tropical goddess shine! Yellow is such an unusual colour for me (previously my worst!) but there was something about this dress that I fell in love with. And boy am I glad I gave it a try!

I find the draping of Ms MoneyPenny’s designs so perfect for the curvier and plus size figures – they just know exactly where to distract, and where to enhance. The fabric is lovely and slinky and high-quality.

This frock is the perfect choice if you want to stand out from the crowd and make a splash – and yes, it’s available in other colours, even though I just love it as a ray of sunshine!

 

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car_grouping_01Dress: Ms Moneypenny available from Fefla Couture
Earrings: Violet Vanilla Shop
Hair flower: Miss Happ at Retrospective Fashion
Hair cut and colour: StyleBar
Photographer and Stylist: Simone from Yellow Papaya

Plus size Valentine’s Day outfit idea 2: The Jungle Queen

This Valentine’s Day, go for something fun, go for something bold and breathtaking.

This dress is so light and floaty – and comfortable too – it won me over real quick. As I so often say, I’m usually a little cautious of bold prints, but something about having this dress on, swishing and swirling around you, makes you feel like a tropical diva. (But, like, in a good way).

What do you think?
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Dress: G-Couture
Shoes: Zoom (past season)
Hair cut and colour: StyleBar
Photographer and Stylist: Simone from Yellow Papaya

Plus size Valentine’s Day outfit idea 1: The Coffee Date

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking what you’re going to wear on your hot date. And hey, I’m not just talking about hot dates with man meat, ok, I mean like hot dates with your bestie, or your four-legged, or your mom, or even yourself, ok?

(That’s right, I look for any excuse to plan a new outfit :P)

Here’s plus size outfit idea number 1, for the good ‘ol coffee date.

Mind the Curves - plus size outfit ideas

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Mind the Curves - plus size outfit ideas

Skirt: Style Republic Plus at Spree
Pumps: PnP Clothing
Hair flower: Koffin Kitten
Lipstick: ‘Striking M-attitude’ CO2 Matt Lip Colour from Alluring Reds collection by Catrice
Nails: Hallo Pragtig
Hair cut and colour: StyleBar
Photographer and Stylist: Simone from Yellow Papaya
Shot on location at Field Office, Woodstock

Honey, I shrunk the Meg

Considering that this is experience is one of the most memorable of my lifetime, it’s actually disgusting how long it’s taken me to write this blog.

I met photographer Abigail K over twitter, when her fun, whimsical profile picture caught my eye. I believe it was this one:

Source: abigailk.co.za
Source: abigailk.co.za

Digging a little deeper, I discovered Abigail had a whole range of her ‘Small Girl, Big World’ photography, which she even turned into a calendar – and each and every single image took my breath away. I wanted in – there was no doubt.

Luckily for me, not only is Abi a fantastico-brilliant photographer, but she’s just damn rad too, and she was totally amped to do a fun shoot with me. I got involved with her incredible #CTConfidence Reverse Before and After project, but we also wanted to do something a bit more quirky and whimsical. We brain-stormed about some of the things I like, and an idea was born. To make matters even more exciting, Abigail’s studio mate designer Rose of Molteno Creations wanted to get involved too, and offered to custom make me my own gown for the shoot. My own custom gown, you guys!

A few fittings later, and some gathering of fun and arbitrary props, and we were ready for shoot day.

This is the breathtaking dress that Rose made me:

Picture by Abigail Klopper
Picture by Abigail Klopper

I mean, just look at that detail. That polkadot lace is sewn on by hand. The weirdest thing for something that looked so amazing? It was SO COMFORTABLE. (Seriously, I could have done pilates in it. I mean… not that I would. But I could have).

Kristine from Kruz4Makeup came onboard to do my hair and makeup, and created a look so amazing I never wanted to wash my face again.

And then there were the props. A trinket from here, a scrap from there, and these babies:

Meg Cupcakes-001Copyright- (c) Abigail K Photography copy

Painstakingly custom-made to our specifications by Kerrith from Over Indulgence Cupcakes, and gobsmackingly delicious to boot! (They were promptly demolished following the shoot, so I can testify as an authority).

Shooting with Abi is such fun, and my memory of it is a blur of giggles and laughter. The process of pulling off these images is pretty involved, and there’s nothing quite like being dressed up like a fairy princess and holding ridiculous poses to give you fits of chuckles.

But the end result took my breath away. Without further ado:

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I love them so much. I just want to live in those little moments. I want to *be* that cupcake-obsessed fairy creature.

I can’t recommend the entire team involved in this folly of a project enough – we couldn’t have done it without each of them.

So, if you’ve ever considered having some fun pictures taken, I highly suggest checking out Abigail’s portfolio, and giving her a call.

Need an amazing frock? Get in touch with Rose – she caters for weddings, matric balls and everything inbetween.

As for me? Well, I’m just looking for any excuse to get back into Abi’s studio!

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What they wore: Plus size celebrities at the Golden Globes 2016

As a little girl I used to like cutting pictures of celebrities in their sparkling gowns out of magazines, and making them into my paper dolls. Old habits die hard, and a guilty pleasure as an adult is squizzing through the red carpet pics online.

Since starting this blog I’ve paid particular attention to what plus size celebrities have worn, but to be honest, spotting them is a bit like finding hen’s teeth. Moreover, when you do, the outfits are often a bit dowdy and unexciting – maybe something to do with plus size women battling to find designer dresses, as Melissa McCarthy has long griped about.

(My concern here is two-fold – both with the availability of clothing in all sizes, but more importantly with the representation of all body types in popular media – but I won’t get into that now).

When I finally got round to checking out this year’s ‘who wore what at the Golden Globes’ I was pretty chuffed to see some of my favourite plus size celebrities looking smashing in their fancy shmancy gowns.

Here’s the lowdown:

Melissa McCarthy

Plus size celebrities at the Golden Globes 2016
Source: usmagazine.com

Top of the list has to be Melissa McCarthy. Not only does she look totally smashing in this glitsy number, but it’s quadruple the awesome because she designed it herself! Whoohoo for this multi-talented chica!

Amy Schumer

Plus size celebrities at the Golden Globes 2016
Source: popsugar.com

While Amy’s hardly the biggest ‘gal around, I couldn’t resist featuring her for all the good bodyposi vibes she’s put out there this year. I usually see her in uber mini’s, so was pleasantly surprised to see her in this full gown, and think she looks totally on point (woohoo! Look at me using the cool kid fashion lingo!)

Laverne Cox

Plus size celebrities at the Golden Globes 2016
Source: Getty Images

In a sea of skinny mini’s, Laverne Cox is another we’re claiming for the plus size team, even if it’s a stretch. She looks like a total goddess in this white gown.

Queen Latifah

Plus size celebrities at the Golden Globes 2016
Source: celebmafia.com

I’ve long been an unlikely fan of Queen Latifah’s style. From what I’ve seen she really knows how to dress herself to make the most of her assets, and I totally love what she’s worn this year. You can see one of my all-time favourite outfits of hers here.

Uzo Aduba

Plus size celebrities at the Golden Globes 2016
Source: www.eonline.com

How amazing does Suzanne – uhm, Uzo – look here? This is a total case of being really jolted seeing an actor out of character. ‘Ol crazy eyes looks like royalty to me in al ze sequins!

So yeah, it’s pretty short and sweet, but I’m glad to see ladies of all shapes, sizes and shades rocking the red carpet in true and unique style. Here’s hoping the next big even has an even more diverse array of beauties for us to ogle over 🙂

 

Nail art ideas: Christmas nail art

Deck my nails with bells and holly, tralalalalaaa, laaa laa laaa laaaaa.

Well, not exactly bells and holly, but something like that. I’m afraid I’m one of those people that loves holidays – the kitscher and tackier the better. Valentines day? Bring on the hearts and pink fluffies. St Patties – I’ll be dressed in all green. Y’all know how I feel about Halloween (BEST HOLIDAY EVERRRRRR), and last but not least, Chrimbo.

It’s not that I’m a consumer zombie – I’m completely aware that these holidays are all glorified marketing ploys – but I do so love the unifying spirit of the holidays. As one of my friends recently pointed out on Facebook – there’s so much turmoil and bitterness in the world – particularly in our country at the moment – and Christmas takes you back to a place of childlike innocence. There are simple things to look forward to – decorating the trees, stuffing your face with mince pies, spending time with your family.

And with that in mind, nail art mastermind Roxy of Hallo Pragtig and I set out to give me the ULTIMATE set of Christmas-themed nail art. Here’s how it turned out:

Mind the Curves - Christmas nail art

If you’d like to get into the spirit of things and give it a try, follow our step-by-step nail art tutorial below:

What you need for Christmas nail art:

  • a base and top coat
  • white, red, silver and glitter polishes or gels. We used the following colours: Artistic ‘03099’ (silver), Gelish ‘Queen of Hearts’ (red), Gelish ‘Am I making you Gelish?’ (glitter) and BlueSky Shellac ‘80501’ (white).
  • a striper brush, an oval brush and a dotting tool

  Step one: Paint the base colours

Remove all traces of previous polish. File and buff nails into desired shape. Apply and bake two layers of base coat, before applying base colours. We did them in the following order – thumbs and forefingers white, middle and pinky fingers red, and ring fingers silver – but you can do whatever order you prefer. Apply as many coats necessary per colour to get a solid base coat. On average, we applied three.

Step two: snow nail art

To create the snow effect on your pinky, use a dotting tool and white paint. Work from the edge of the nail up, doing more dots at the bottom going to fewer at the top. It’s ok if some of them overlap. Cover with a top coat and bake.

Step 3: Glitter nail art

When it comes to Christmas – or life really – there’s no such thing as too much glitter. We applied an extra few layers of glitter on top of the silver base coat for some extra bling. Simple, but oh-ho-ho-ho so effective.

Step 4: Snowflake nail art

This one’s upping the skill level a bit. Although it looks hella complicated, if you break it down step-by-step it’s totally doable.

1. Start by drawing a simple stick star, using a fine gel striper brush.
2. Add a little fork at the top of each star leg.
3. Add another fork, in the same direction, just below the top fork.
4. Using a dotting tool, add a few spots of glitter in any open space. Cover with a top coat and bake.

Step 5: Candy cane nail art

1. Using the gel striper, draw two lines in red close together near the top of the nail.
2. Fill in between the lines to create a thick band.
3. Repeat at the bottom of the nail.
4. Go between the bands with a thin line of silver. Cover with a top coat, and bake.

Step 5: Glitter fade nail art

1. Dab some glitter paint onto a lint-free swab. The swab will absorb the clear varnish, allowing you to get a much more intense glitter effect.
2. Using an oval brush, pick up the glitter and paint it onto the nail, concentrating at the edge of the nail, and fading as it gets closer to the cuticle.
3. You can use a stick to move some of the glitter around to get it exactly as you want it, before putting a top coat on and baking.

   Tadaaaa! That’s it. I’m pretty in love with my nails at the moment – I keep looking at them and grinning. And the best part? With gel they last in perfect condition for aaaaages!

If, like me, you don’t have the skills or equipment to do fun and lasting nail art, give Roxy a call on 079 086 7741, or message her through her website. You can also follow Hallo Pragtig on Facebook for more amazing nail art ideas.

 Review: Retail Box Secret Box December 2015

Receiving packages in the post is one of my favourite things. Seriously. When I lived in London, and I’m not too embarrassed to admit I had a bit of an eBay addiction, nothing made me happier than getting all these little parcels to open and get excited about. Like a kid at Christmas, but, like, every day. Unfortunately I lost that delight when I moved back to SA, so you can imagine my glee when there was a ‘ding dong’ at the door the other day, and the nice Mr Delivery Man handed me my Retail Box Secret Box for December.  Now, I might be a bit late on the trend train, but this was my first subscription box, and I loved it. After unwrapping the courier bag, the first thing that greets you is this intoxicating aroma. Seriously, I gave myself a few minutes just to sniff it before unwrapping it properly to find out what was inside (I know, I know, I’m a total creeper).
  It’s so fun to peel open the wrapping, and see what delightful gifties are inside. The first thing I found was this sweet little note, which totally bought a smile to my face.

But inside… oooh, inside…. were all sorts of exciting things!

Included in this edition were Sebastian Trilliance ShampooSebastian Trilliance Conditioner and Sebastian Trilliant Protect and Shimmer (I suspect this one is responsible for the divine smell).
The combined value of these products is almost R900, and considering you only pay only R370 for the box, that’s a pretty wicked deal on premium hair care.  I’ve heard friends of mine complain about other subscription boxes that they got a bunch of samples and were pretty disappointed, but I have to say that I was bowled over by the contents of this one and think it’s terrific value for money. It’s also a great way to discover new products, as is my case. I put the goodies to the test, and this is what I thought:

Sebastian Trilliance Shampoo
 

What they say about it: “Featuring rock crystal extract, the shampoo creates a foundation for your styling regime by cleansing and polishing hair to reveal a natural looking shine. Suitable for all hair types, Trilliance Shampoo removes unwanted residues and smooths the cuticle layer to give your hair’s surface greater light reflection. Sebastian hair products help you to create styles that you dream of.”

What I thought: “I’ve been battling with residue build up on my hair for a while now, so this shampoo was a welcome surprise. I hate that feeling when you wash your hair and rinse it thoroughly, but when it’s dry it still feels like it has product on. The shampoo stripped it all off, and like the bottle says, feels squeaky clean and shiny after use. Plus (and I don’t know if this is just me going crazy) but my hair seems to last about a day longer that before for needing a wash. Hmmmmm….

Sebastian Trilliance Conditioner

  What they say about it: “The innovative formula creates a dazzling foundation by cleansing and polishing hair for a beautiful natural shine. Enriched with rock crystal extract Sebastian Professional Trilliance Conditioner smoothes roughened cuticles into a light-reflecting surface, leaving a gorgeous natural shine and the perfect base for styling.”

What I thought: After a recent ‘re-blondening’, my hair’s been feeling pretty dry and crispy. Yuck! This conditioner seems to put just the right amount of moisture for regular use in, without leaving it with that weird residue I was complaining about above. I think supplementing it with a fortnightly moisture treatment – or just putting it in and letting it soak for 40 minutes – would probably be the perfect combo for hair in my condition.

Sebastian Trilliant Protect and Shimmer

What they say about it: “Sebastian Professional Trilliant features a multifaceted complex with rock crystal extract that is designed to gently condition hair and provide heat protection. The hair product adds ultra-light body and a shimmering soft, smooth finish to your hair to leave it looking sparkling. Sebastian professional are known for their experimentation of all things colour and shapes to create fearless hair fashion. With a thirst for innovation and changing the game of hair styling, Sebastian hair products help you to create styles that you dream of.”

What I thought: First of all, the fragrance of this is ah-may-zing. I like to rub a little in my hands and comb through my hair before blow drying (I don’t straighten very often) and this seems to leave it with a slinky smoothe and straight finish that is great for regular wear.

My verdict: I thought the box was awesome. I would definitely order again for good quality hair care at an amazing rate – not to mention having something fun to look forward to in the post, of course!

If you’re interested in ordering your own or finding out more, click here.

Nail art ideas: Mermaid nail art

My hands have always been a part of me that I’ve felt particularly self-conscious about. To start, my nails kinda hook over, which gives them something of a ‘witchy’ effect, and more over they’re never terribly well kept, given my fondness for activities from cooking to crafting and gardening. Regular nail polish never lasts more than a day or two at a time before chipping off, and I get annoyed when I have to repaint it every couple days.

Enter stage left – Roxy Schmidlin, nail artists and owner of Hallo Pragtig. Roxy doesn’t just paint your nails – she turns your hands into works of art.

No challenge is too great – from the time I asked her to paint my nails like my dress for my Rockabilly Birthday Bash, to doing wee batties and spiderwebs for Halloween.

Her medium of choice is Shellac – a gel nail polish unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. It stays on incredibly well throughout all the abuse I put my hands through, and basically I only need to remove it when the paint grows out.

My most recent challenge was for mermaid nail art – to match my mermaid hair, obviously! Roxy embraced the challenge with her usual gusto, and I’m thrilled with the result. We put together a little step-by-step guide for anyone wanting to try do it to themselves.

What you need for mermaid nail art:

  • base coat
  • five pastel colours of your choice, and black paint. (We used Bluesky Shellac Dc105, A103, DC115, A21, 80599, 80547 and A103).
  • a gel striper
  • top coat

Step one:

Remove all traces of previous polish. File and buff nails into desired shape. Apply and bake two layers of base coat, before applying pastel colours. We applied three coats of the colour.

Step two:

Using the gel striper brush and black paint, to paint the scales. Start in the middle of each nail as close to your cuticle as possible, and then work outwards before moving up.

Step three:

Set with a layer of top coat, and voila, you’re done! Pretty simple to explain – but how stunning is the final effect?

If, like me, you don’t have the skills or equipment to do fun and lasting nail art, give Roxy a call on 079 086 7741, or message her through her website. You can also follow Hallo Pragtig on Facebook for more amazing nail art ideas.

 

Plus size style file: Lala from Plus Size is Me

While around the world plus size liberation and the body positivity movement are big, booming trends, here in South Africa those talking about the topic are fewer and far between. Lala and her sister Nkanyezi Tshabalala are amongst some of the most well-known voices on the subject in South Africa, with almost 50 000 followers on their Facebook page alone. I had the great honour of chatting to Lala about her personal style, and thoughts on body positivity.

South African plus size style - Lala Tshabalala

About Lala from Plus Size is Me

My name is Lala, I am a plus size fashion blogger, activist and sometimes model. I have my own fashion and lifestyle brand for fuller figured women called Plus Size is ME which I started 3 years ago.

How do you define your style?

Style is about figuring out what looks good on you whether it’s a current or past trend. It’s about taking chances and creating a look which people can identify you with. E.g. Kim Kardashian may wear new items everyday but her ‘style identity’ is pieces that are tight fitted, sometimes revealing and accentuate her curves.

Who inspires your style?

My top 3 ‘style icons’ would have to be Amber Rose, Kim and Khloe Kardashian.

South African plus size style - Lala Tshabalala

Where do you shop?

I shop at many different stores. I’m not afraid to pop in even if I don’t think they will have my size because you never know. I have assumed the worst about certain stores and walked out with items. My main stores would have to be Cotton On, YDE, Mr Price and a lot of boutiques.

Who is your favourite designer or label?

My favourite label would have to be Babes and Felines. It is an international brand and the reason I love the clothing so much is because it WORKS FOR CURVY WOMEN AND LOOKS DAMN GOOD. I haven’t bought anything from their online store yet because I’m so afraid of purchasing from so far away and the size not quite fitting my body, BUT I’m DETERMINED TO OWN some of those pieces.

What are some things you can never leave the house without?

I wouldn’t leave the house without a phly pair of shades, red lipstick, mascara and my wallet.

South African plus size style - Lala Tshabalala

What is your favourite fashion item at the moment?

Bodysuits

What does the term ‘body positivity’ mean to you?

Body positivity is a positive way of looking at your body and a positive messages being spread about body image.

What are your ‘secrets’ for learning to love your body?

I have four factors that have helped build my self-esteem. Social media, people, physical and psychological health. Social media refers to taking control of your pages and following pages that contribute to the way you feel about yourself positively. “People” is about surrounding yourself with positive people and physical and psychological health is about taking care of YOU by being active and kinder to yourself. I had posted a video on YouTube explaining all of this in depth.

What are you passionate about?

I’m super passionate about this body positive/ healthy body image movement. I live for it every day, it is my work, I believe in it and will keep working on it. It’s important that we spread this message and get it right so that men and women can learn how to love themselves, so that we can keep fighting eating disorders, suicides and all these issues that come from self-hate.

If you were a character from a book, TV or the movies, who would you be and why?

I would want to be Hannah (Lena Dunham) on the tv series “Girls”. I watched that series for the first time a few weeks ago and I remember thinking ‘now this is absolute SELF ACCEPTANCE’. Lena has put herself out there on one of the most public platforms for literally the world to see and you can only do that if you are more than ok with yourself. I don’t know if her intention was for her character to inspire women to be at peace with their bodies and love themselves but that is exactly what she is doing without outright saying it. One of my favourite scenes is when they were away on vacay and Hannah rode her bicycle from the house to the shop in her bikini!!! Ahahahhahaha ha  hahahhahaha! Not even her skinny friends did that. She is too awesome.

South African plus size style - Lala Tshabalala

Who has been the most important person in your journey to body positivity?

I would have to say Toccara Jones definitely put me on the path of body love and acceptance. Watching her on America’s Next Top Model as the first plus size woman gave me a sense of hope and belonging. Now I would have to say I’m inspired by a lot of plus size bloggers, activists, models and other women who are owning their “flaws” and are choosing to celebrate them, such as Chrissy Teigan and Lena Dunham. The most important lesson about confidence I have learnt is to surround yourself with positive people. If you are constantly around negative people it will rub off on you and it will be very hard to feel good.

What wisdom would you pass on to someone at the beginning of their body positivity journey?

Be patient with yourself. You will have good days and bad days but whatever happens remember to be good to yourself.

I love my body because…

… it has been so good to me. I have abused it and mistreated it but every morning it gets up and carries me through my life.

South African plus size style - Lala Tshabalala

You can read Lala’s blog here, or follow here on Twitter and Instagram on the handles @misscurvylala + @plussizeisme. Her Facebook page is here.

If you would like to be featured on my plus size Style File, please drop me an email on mindthecurvesza@gmail.com.

 

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