Thursday, May 31, 2012


Beauty Q&A: Caftans, Baby Gifts, and What Is Up With BB Creams?

1. I need help with what to wear this summer. I am a stay-at-home mom of a two-year-old and also a photographer on the weekends. I spend a LOT of time at the playground running around, sitting in the grass and on pavement, climbing jungle gyms, etc. When I go out to dinner or for drinks I adore a nice light cotton dress and sandals. However this is not practical attire for chasing my son around. At the end of the day I am often sweaty and sticky. I want to wear something to keep cool and looking like a hot mommy but I'm at a loss. I've been wearing cuffed mid-rise skinny jeans, ratty old t-shirts and falling-apart TOMS but the jeans are too hot and I look like a schlub. I am 5' 3" and have an hourglass shape: big boobs, smallish waist, wide hips, thick thighs. I hate "tissue-thin" tees; they shows every little bulge. I like a classic, retro look. I am thinking cropped pants? Shorts scare me. But what sort of tops? I do like a bit of a sleeve. Summer!

Oh summer, you jerk. There are three things you should have at the ready this season: a light, flowy, maxi-dress/caftan (you might call it a muumuu, but the right one will turn heads in a good way), a linen wardrobe, and shorts that don't scare you. I hate shorts too, except for the two pairs I own that I don't hate at all because they are the best.

First, that dress: if you find the right one, you might think about buying two since I swear it will be the thing you want to throw on every morning. Long enough to not give anyone at the playground a show, loose enough to run around in and catch some breeze, and yet a fashion statement (which is always better than passively stating "I didn't even think about what I put on my body this morning because there is no "my" and I think everything looks terrible on me so why bother?"). Before you hit the dressing room, bring a cute pair of embellished sandals — a wedge even if you're comfortable in them, some giant earrings, and a belt or two. The Earth Mother thing works better with accessories (check out the bangles on those cartoon models!), unless you look like Gisele or something. Which, if you do, shut up. I die for this one by Malene Birger, but some more affordable choices are this one, this one, and this one. And don't tell me, or Elizabeth Taylor, or Aretha Franklin, that they look bad on short people with boobs. Here's the one I'm wearing right now. Moms chase me down the street to ask about it.

For linen, you might have to invest a little more money, but since you'll only be wearing these pieces for a few months each year, they'll last you a long time. On the other hand, H&M does some killer looks with linen. Wherever you end up buying, get a pair of pants, cropped or otherwise (whyyy are these sold ouuut-ahhh?), a camp-style button down, and a pullover top. Rule: DO NOT WEAR AN ENTIRE LINEN OUTFIT, MOM, OMG WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO RUIN MY LIFE!? Tuck the tops in to a more fitted bottom of a different material. Speaking of fitted bottoms...

Shorts. Think about a time you saw a woman in shorts (we're not talking booty shorts) and thought to yourself, "Girl, somebody lied to you!" I would put money on it that you didn't object to her choice simply because she had "thick thighs." Everyone has lumps and bumps they don't like, but, unfortunately, we all have to wear something on this scorching hot Earth. There is absolutely no harm in trying on a billion pairs with that linen top. Again, bring a belt, some big accessories, and not-ugly shoes. Target has been my go-to for cute shorts for years now, and Asos has a bunch of options. Just remember: you have to dress your entire body to feel good about wearing shorts — or really any new style. Leave the "___ and whatever t-shirt is sort of clean"  look to the children.

2. I have been trying (pretty successfully!) to switch over to more natural beauty products — for makeup, I try to avoid parabens and artificial fragrance, and other stuff if possible. The one item I've been unsuccessful in finding is foundation. I like Physician's Formula organic powder, blush, eye shadow,  and Tarte's concealer and waterproof mascara. I even like the Wet and Wild natural powder (I know!)

Do you or other 'Pinners have suggestions for a natural foundation?

Ah, you are so right to ask the Hairpintariat for their suggestions! Before I tell you my choice, I just want to make the case for spending a little more money on foundation than you might other products. Aside from often containing better ingredients, you're paying for the ability to try before you buy — something you can't do in most drug stores. Finding the right color and something that doesn't feel drying or heavy can be an all-afternoon task.

Since you already like Tarte products for some reason (stay tuned for my Mascarapedia in which I take them down), why don't you start with their foundation? It's got all the stuff you're looking for — plus SPF and some sort of wrinkle fighter. Reviews say that its coverage is buildable too, in which case you might be able to ditch the concealer and save some dough.

3. What on earth does a 30-year-old wear to a christening? I asked some friends but they assumed I was talking about the christening of a boat and suggested I bring a bottle of champagne and the conversation devolved from there. This is for a baby. Also, what do you buy a baby for her christening?

Assuming the christening is in a church, just wear the same thing you'd wear to a church wedding: leave the white to the baby, don't upstage the baby in anything too flashy, don't embarrass the baby in anything too short, and bring a sweater because churches are cold.

As for presents? Ahhh!!! I love buying presents for babies! Seriously, it is kind of a pastime? Here are some rules I buy by that might help:

– A baby under two years old is really just an appendage of the parent. Buy something for your friend who owns the baby or buy something for the baby that would make their parent happy and serve a function at the same time. I got Nicole's baby a onesie with a horse on it. See? If Edith had a baby, I'd get it a bottle of wine or...

– A doll house. Think of a gift theme you can stick to for years of holidays to come. If Edith had a baby, I'd get it a doll house and then every year give it some new accessories. I have two baby sisters and I always get them the books I loved as a child. They probably have duplicates by this point, but with two kids that's never a bad thing. You could be the tutu lady, the candy lady, the game lady; the possibilites are endless, lady.

– Shell out some cash for a keepsake. This could be anything: a toy chest, jewelry box, fancy lamp, artwork.

– If you are especially close to the family, one christening-specific gift is a piece of jewelry, devotional or otherwise. Stores like KMart and JCPenney usually have special displays of children's jewelry in the fine jewelry section.

4. BB creams. What?

Yeah, I don't really know either. I got one as a freebie from Sephora. It was Dr. Jart brand, which is just... ugh, what a terrible name! Jart. "Here, rub this Dr. Jart cream all over your face." I tried it and it was heavy and then I still had to put foundation on and it seemed superfluous.

My hesitancy to use these is probably due to misinformation — and then laziness about gathering the correct information — but I do know that when they first started to pick up steam, they were essentially whitening creams under a new name. Whitening, brightening, lightening, skin bleaching; whatever you want to call it, I am not interested. Don't they seem racist? There, I said it! To split hairs, however, I'm not bothered by spot-treating a zit scar that just won't go away. "You are a sensitive and complicated beast." — My dude.

Back to BB creams, though: I've read more recently they do things aside from making you whiter. Some fight acne, some contain sunscreens, some are moisturizing, others are not. I'd love to read some testimonials in the comments from devotees to this new miracle cream. My snap judgment is to not add another product to all the crap I already advocate for, but I could be swayed...

Previously: ID Photos, Gaudy Shoes, and Looking 10 Years Younger.

Do you have a question for Jane?

288 Comments / Post A Comment


Boo, BB cream! Just earlier today I returned the Boscia one I recently bought to Sephora. It did make my skin tone look more even but in a really...shiny way? And it was crap for covering up blemishes and also I felt like it somehow made my under-eye concealer look less effective. Also, after I went to pilates class while wearing it I broke out. I guess it's my own fault for being the kind of person who always falls for claims that "this stuff will change your life" when it comes to makeup, but so far, BB cream: not a fan!


@bitzyboozer I used to live with two Asian women who used BB cream religiously. I asked them what it was, and they hemmed and hawed and I basically got that it made your skin look more caucasian, which I just seems racist to me? But they liked it, sooooo what do I know.


@bitzyboozer the boscia on was foul, it felt like plastic on my face.


@bitzyboozer Boscia makes many questionable products, including a face mask that they call their black mask, and that I did not, for some reason, connect with the product itself being black... which meant when I went to use it, I basically reenacted that scene from Holiday Inn and felt horrible the entire time. It did wonderful things to my skin, but not wonderful enough to make me spend $35 a tube to feel racist while using it.


@mlle.gateau but.. it's a skin mask that is BLACK, that is not racist. i mean, green masks and whatnot as gross, i think black would be a nice change.


@LeafySeaDragon yeah, but like... green and I can handle, and I totally thought the black mask would be cool until I looked at my reflection and realized what it looked like. Anyway, now I just scrub my face with a baking soda/water paste and the effect is basically the same and WAY cheaper.


@mlle.gateau OooOOO. Does this dry your skin out, though?


@bitzyboozer I'm currently living in the BB Cream obsession capital of the world/also where they make the stuff. My only experience with it is using stuff that got randomly sent to my house, which was pretty damn amazing, but slightly too light for my (kind of olivey caucasian) complexion. I don't know shit about foundation, but it defo evened my skin out and concealed things fairly well.

1. I know that they don't all have bleach. Tons of them don't. But I have a hard time imagining an Asian skincare company that doesn't make any products with bleaching stuff in them.

2. From what I can tell, if you can find the "right" one for whatever your face is, it's supposed to be pretty amazing. Given that I'm managing to live w/out foundation (it's on the list of skills to learn) and that BB cream is pricey, I can't be arsed searching out my "right" one through the language barrier. That said, if I knew what I was looking for, I would buy some and keep it in the bathroom for when my skin is flipping out/I wanna look classy.


@Xanthophyllippa I don't find that it does, but I always do it at night and slather on a ton of coconut oil after to make sure nothing gets dry. It does a fantastic job of getting rid of pore clogging crap. Like most brilliant ideas these days, though, I have to say I got the trick from Pinterest!


@bitzyboozer Re this whole weird BB creams thing, I work at a cosmetics formulating company and we've just done a few BBs. Essentially they are what brands have decided is the new thing for women who are a bit lazy and don't bother with foundation and everything else and so they might buy an all-in-one. Most of them do moisturising, spf, tint and a bit of cover-up + misc. anti-ageing/anti blemish/brightening. I think the whole 'lightening' thing is a separate area maybe? But basically everyone in the beauty industry has jumped on BB as the new 'it' thing to sell to people. Not that i'm complaining because I am exactly the lazy non-foundation person they're looking at.
ALSO a word on parabens, they're fine! The studies that I've seen haven't been conclusive and go against 50+ years of safety data that's been collected. Also, they're used as preservatives (to stop bacteria growing) and all these new preservatives that we are forced to use now have very limited safety data. So in any case, don't be scared of parabens. Sorry I didn't mean to go all ranty.

Theda Fontaine@twitter

@bitzyboozer I use the Garnier BB Cream (I'm in Australia and I don't know if it's available elsewhere).

I only wear foundation on special occasions, so this is good for me. It has more coverage than a tinted moisturiser, but isn't as heavy as a foundation. I'm very pale anyway, but it does even out my skin tone. It does leave me a little shiny so I just lightly dust over some setting powder on my t-zone. Mine also has a moisturizer in it which means it's pretty much all I need to use.



@bitzyboozer et al - I got a couple samples of that Dr. Jart BB cream, and I actually really like it. However this is coming from someone who 6 months ago had never worn any foundation-type thing, and decided to try wearing something to just even things out a tiny bit so tried a light dusting of sheer mineral powder and felt like she was wearing a clown mask of makeup. I've since worked up to the very light coverage of tinted moisturizer (Jouer luminizing tint - love it!). I like the tinted moisturizer and BB cream stuff because it goes on easily and adds that tiny bit of overall evening-out effect, plus has SPF so I don't have to do that as a separate step.


@Killerpants The one best use I've found for BB is the beach! Especially if you know pictures will be taken - you don't want a full face of makeup, especially when you know you'll just be sweating it off, but sometimes it's nice to have something on.

But also I don't trust the spf and use BB + sunscreen.


@bitzyboozer This was my experience too. I went to a high school with a high population of international students, many of them Korean, and they said that the skin ideal there is basically the opposite of America--pale is preferred to tan.

ms. alex

@Theda Fontaine@twitter I use the Garnier BB cream as well (in the US), and although I wish it came with oil absorption or something, it seems to be pretty good for my mostly post-acne face (boo, uneven skin tone!) and general laziness.

called birdy

@ms. alex I too have issues with oil, so I tried an actual Korean product (SKIN79 Super+ BB Triple Function), which has sebum oil control. It works really well! You can find it cheap on Amazon. :)

Natalie Stone@facebook

@bitzyboozer I just jumped on the BB cream train, and I love it. I don't like to wear foundation everyday, as it makes me break out and it just feels like too much. But my mineral foundation just wasn't cutting it anymore, and tinted moisturizer doesn't offer enough coverage for my uneven skin.

So I started using the BB cream (Clinique, because I am oily), and it's perfect. More coverage than tinted moisturizer, not as heavy as foundation. It has sunblock and other various good stuff (antioxidants?) baked in, and it takes about two seconds to put on. SInce this is one for the US market, it doesn't have whitener in it.



Beauty Balm? Benefactor's Barmaid? Belinda (Carlyle) Bleach?


@bitzyboozer i tried the smashbox BB cream (love their foundations) and found it to be really drying. I did like that it hit the in-between spot in terms of coverage between foundation and TM, but it just looked awful by the end of the day on my dry-but-well-moisturized skin.

i believe most of the american BB creams don't include any sort of bleaching element.

PS: am I the only one who just finds it easier to wear foundation? i keep hearing people recommending tinted moisturizers/BB creams and say "it's so great, less coverage, easier to apply, but you need to use a good primer and/or setting powder." my smashbox 15 hour foundation requires none of those things and i don't really find it any more difficult to apply. i have rosacea so i end up having to build up TM/BB coverage anyway, sooo. i think i'll stick with the foundation? screw you foundation h8rs

the angry little raincloud

@liznieve BB stands for either "blemish balm" or now, more generally as they spread, "beauty balm."


I have used Boscia BB Cream for about a year and I really like it. It's just the right color for me and gives good coverage. Two things I don't get: One, how is BB for people who are "too lazy to wear foundation"? It's the same thing as foundation, so you're still rubbing a colored cream on your skin. It's just supposed to be better for your skin; as I understand it, dermatologists developed the cream for their patients who had had procedures done (like mole removal and who knows, maybe plastic surgery, too) and needed something that would both provide coverage and be beneficial for the skin. And, Question Two, I wouldn't assume that whitening is part and parcel of the BB Experience. It's probably common, since whitening or "brightening" (ahem...??) elements are so common these days in beauty products originally from East Asia, but I'm not so sure. Sometimes fading ingredients are also just meant to even out skin tone, like when you have dark spots from acne or sun damage. I think that's the "blemish balm" idea.


@bitzyboozer BB Cremes...aghhh the bane of my existence. I work for a department store cosmetics line, and the "gist" of what I have learned from my line of BB creme and others is that they are usually formulated with anti-oxidants and spf and generally help illuminate the face, provide sheer coverage, and sometimes even out skintone. I basically tout them as a tinted moisturizer "plus" They can be used w/o foundation or as a substitute for a primer. The only one I like is from Origins - they are moisturizing, have decent lightweight coverage and high spf, plus they come in a reasonably wide range of shades from very fair to very dark.


@bitzyboozer I've been watching K-dramas lately on Netflix, and BB creme is their thing. They use that stuff all the time, and they sometimes mention it in the show. It's supposed to even you out, but I have no idea.


@Theda Fontaine@twitter Have you tried the Nude by Nature BB cream? I keep seeing ads for it and I want to get some.

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

@CupcakeTattoos @all
So BB cream isn't just tinted moisturizer?


Too broke for a summer wardrobe. Too broke for an AC. Help.

p.s will accept links to cute cheap maxi dresses I am ready to try this trend already


@terrific I just got an email from Old Navy that their dresses are all on sale. I own about 5 of their maxi dresses and they are fantastic(ally cheap).




@terrific When there was a brief and freakish early May heat wave here I found a teal/orange/crazy patterned maxi dress at Walmart for ten dollars. It looks like I should always be holding a glass of chilled white wine and hosting a goddamn key party and I love it. I LOVE IT.


@redheaded&crazie seeeeriously. I live in those things.


@dk summer of dresses y'all! summer of dresses!!!


@terrific Oh, hello. Don't judge me, but I saw this in an Us Weekly on Kristen Cavalleri (I'm not even going to bother spell-checking that), and I think it is SO CUTE! Even though it is from Kmart!


@terrific I bought this one in coral from Victoria's Secret when some colours were on clearance and I've gotten so many compliments when I wear it. Wish it was still on crazy discount.


@dk Oh DIP. I just threw up the bat signal to my other lady friends that this was happening. There goes my paycheck (but with many many dresses!)


@redheaded&crazie Anyone have ideas for maxi-dresses for tall ladies? I'm 5'9", and they look SO awkward when they're calf/ankle length...looking for some sort of floor-skimming wonderfulness, you know? I have 2 that meet this criteria, but they were wicked expensive, and are now 4 years old, from a boutique I no longer live near, so...help?

Veronica Mars is smarter than me

@Ophelia at the other end of the spectrum, ladies who usually have to buy "petite" or "short" (like 29" inseam) pants, can you wear maxis as-is or do you need to buy petites/hem them after buying?


@Ophelia: I'm 5'8" and have been pretty pleased with the Old Navy dresses I have - I get size M (I tend to be M/L on top at ON & Gap) and most of them are at my ankles.

@Veronica Mars is smarter than me: it depends on the dress, really. I saw a shortish woman on the subway yesterday wearing a maxi that was dragging on the ground and getting under her flip flips and it looked silly, as well as totally gross as I realized what her hem is rubbing against all day. EW. Don't be that lady.


@Ophelia I'm 5'10" and this too is my problem with maxi dresses. I have one that is perfect length (just brushes my toes) but one only. I found it at TJ Maxx. The maxi dress length seems to vary a lot, so I have faith that there may be more options out there for we tall ladies! The best bet might just be the same strategy I use for jeans: move along the rack just looking at the bottom and only pull out the ones that appear longer than the others.


I adore Too Faced BB cream. It has spf 20 and moisturizes and has good coverage. It just makes my skin look nice. I don't use foundation, however, so I suppose it sort of takes the place of foundation for me? At any rate, love it, highly recommend it. But I would maybe think of it as an alternative to foundation rather than an add-on.


@notinseason I use the Too Faced BB cream also and I love it! Sometimes it gets a little shiny and I brush on a little matte powder and everyone's happy. Right now it's taking the place of moisturizer and foundation for me... my makeup swiss army knife?

The Lady of Shalott

I just got a BB cream that I LOVE! And it's the cheap Garnier one too. It doesn't truly cover any of my scars or freckles or anything, but it's not a foundation so I didn't...expect it to? Anyway, it's some kind of magic that just makes my skin look much much more even and bright. But it doesn't ERASE all of my skin's imperfections, which I actually love because this way it totally looks like I'm not wearing makeup! But my skin looks so much nicer and better! And it has SPF in it!

(But um I have had a couple of weirdo bizarre-world pimples-under-the-skin while using it and now I'm scared that my super-sensitive crybaby skin doesn't like it. Oh dear.)


@The Lady of Shalott I have also just tried the Garnier BB cream and I also like it. Again, though, I hardly ever wear foundation and I wanted something lighter and more natural. It has SPF too, so on days I wear it I can skip the sunscreen step and it doesn't feel like it's added a new product to my life?

I don't wear it every day because it still feels kind of like having makeup on, and most days I work from home so there's no reason. So I save it for days when I'm going into the office, or for evenings out.

But I am consistently amazed by how GOOD I look when I'm wearing it. Like me, but better, and not fake or plastic. The imperfections are still there, just a little less noticeable, if that makes sense?


@The Lady of Shalott The Garnier one is nice. I think it smells good. I found another brand that was a better color match, though. I love not having to wear an extra sunscreen! Even though most have low spf, I haven't burned/tanned on either the Garnier or the Too Faced, even after copious sun exposure.

Sunny Schomaker@twitter

@The Lady of Shalott I use the Garnier too, and I like it for the same reasons. Sometimes, you just want to look polished, but not overly so. I've noticed that my skin seems to look better, even without it, so value added. It is a hint darker than I am, though (my skin tone somewhere on the Swinton-Kidman-Blanchett continuum), but since it's sheer, it isn't the problem it would be with foundation.

Wow, I can talk about cosmetics like I can talk about language policy and bilingual education. That is to say, in tedious detail.


@The Lady of Shalott I have the Garnier, but am not fussed.
It sort of makes my face look a bit muddy? I don't know. Maybe I am too pale for bb creams.
YMMV, I guess


@The Lady of Shalott Yeah, they're not supposed to offer the amount of coverage a foundation will. They're more like all-in-one tinted moisturizers with anti-aging, sunscreen, and primer. I have never heard that they were whitening creams before. Maybe the ones actually from Korea are, but the ones here no.


@The Lady of Shalott That's what I got from the Boscia BB, the under the skin zits. My skin reacts badly to lots of products so I'm not messing around with that stuff anymore.


@The Lady of Shalott Now you must tell me exactly which Garnier cream you are talking about, because I do not understand this "BB", but I love Garnier, and I am sad that their brightening serum, which did AMAZING THINGS to my face, was discontinued WITHOUT NOTICE.


@Megano! I have the Garnier one and I like it, but I straight up hate the smell. But, it does good things to my skin, so I keep using it. I have super sensitive skin and it doesn't seem to make it mad like foundation does. Also, I have access to a Daiso here in Vancouver (magical Japanese convenience/dollar store full of awesome) and they carry one of the for-real Korean brands, so I tried it. It's SO GREAT. I can't tell you what the brand is, though, because it just says "BB" on it. I bought the second lightest shade and it looks great. Much better coverage than the Garnier, very moisturizing and not as thick coming out. It probably has something terrible in it. Oh well.

The Lady of Shalott

@sniffadee It's the Garnier Skin Renew "Miracle Skin Perfector B.B. Cream." I have it in the Light/Medium one.


@The Lady of Shalott Add me to the anecdata of the Garnier giving bumps to people with crybaby skin.


@The Lady of Shalott i, too, love the garnier BB cream! for some reason, the light shade is perfect for me. and it's the perfect balance for thick, warm, wet new orleans summers!!


Me too. It looks awesome when I first put it on, but it breaks me out too.

I'm also not a fan of the fragrance.


@The Lady of Shalott I use it too, it's awesome for lazy people like me that normally can't be bothered with spending time on makeup in the morning. It's great for just sort of evening out my skin and giving me a little color. My skin can be picky but not super super sensitive I guess and it's been fine.

Aunt Pete

@The Lady of Shalott I use the Garnier one too. I describe it to people as a tinted moisturizer with a few bonuses :) I find that with a bit of blush and powder its the perfect coverage for everyday. I save my more expensive foundation for fancier events and my face doesn't melt in ye-ol-oppressive-DC-weather.

ms. alex

@The Lady of Shalott I have it too. Didn't like the smell at first but got over it. Wish it came in higher SPF!

The Lady of Shalott

ALSO: I have the worst time with maxidresses. I really want to love them but I inevitably look like a stump. I have a long flowy tiered blue ombre maxi skirt that I LOVE, but I had to repair it a couple of times. Once because I went out accidentally wearing shoes of two different heights (one 3 1/2-inch wedge, one 4-inch wedge) because I wasn't paying attention and couldn't see my shoes. And my BFF kept asking me if I'd hurt myself because I looked like I was limping? No, I was just a doofus. Anyway, because of my shoe idiocy I kept stepping and ripped out part of the hem.

So generally I prefer to stick to short sundresses. I NEED NEW SUNDRESSES: LINK ME TO CHEAP CUTE SUNDRESSES.


@The Lady of Shalott How cheap is cheap in your world? $100 or $20?

The Lady of Shalott

@frigwiggin Between $0 and $150? Well, the higher end for something I'll wear the hell out of, I guess.


@The Lady of Shalott Okay, so my suggestions may be more work than you were looking for, because I am cheap and two of my favorite sundresses were bought on eBay rather than retail. But I have and loooove the Wisteria Halter sundress from Anthropologie--might be a little fancier than what you're looking for? But seriously, I'll throw mine on all the time because it makes me feel like I'm going to a garden party. (Runs a bit big, I had to take in a size 8 on top because I had so much room around my boobs it wasn't even funny.)

I also like this one Aryeh sundress I have, but there don't appear to be any on eBay right now, boooooooo.


@frigwiggin Sorry, Lady d'Shalott, this answer was less helpful and more blathery than I intended. I only own a handful of sundresses and nothing current, so most of what I would otherwise rec to you are ones I've simply been ogling from the sidelines but have no actual experience with.


@The Lady of Shalott As long as they have empire waists and are not too long, you should not look stumpy in maxi dresses (see: Jennifer Love Hewitt).

Faintly Macabre

@The Lady of Shalott I own one maxidress and don't like it much because I bought it so I could get away with not shaving, but it just irritates my stubbly legs! Maybe it's the crappy fabric, though.


@The Lady of Shalott I have yet to even try on a maxi dress! one of my friends is rocking the hell out of them this summer and I am envious and scared at the same time.

I love my short sundresses. We'll see about this maxi dress trend. We'll just see.


@The Lady of Shalott I fail at maxi dresses because I trip on them CONSTANTLY. It is a damn good thing I was not alive at times when ladies were required to wear long dresses, because I own one of these maxi dress contraptions, and whenever I wear it, I run a serious risk of stepping on the hem and ripping the damn thing in half.


@The Lady of Shalott just go to Ross dress for less. they have a ton of great ethnic and animal print caftans and muumus for under $10. i live in caftans in the austin summer. those and jorts are the only options for summerwear.

sudden but inevitable betrayal

@RachelTheC YES. Ross is where I get all my cheap summer dresses. The place is a goldmine!


@frigwiggin Oh! Is this a thing with Anthropologie? The running big in the boobs? TELL ME ABOUT THINGS THAT RUN BIG IN THE BOOBS!

I... er... wear a size 32FF bra (which isn't to say that I don't have my share of rolls and whatnot), and the default for clothes makers is to assume that if you have the rack, you also have a heavier frame, so this is ALWAYS a problem.


@ColdFingers I couldn't tell you about all Anthro garments, since they carry a variety of brands and I only own like 4 Anthro items anyway, but this dress was definitely generous in the boob-area! The dress is actually Maeve, so maybe you could check out some of their other stuff?


@The Lady of Shalott They make me look stumpy too. Everyone agrees. I am short and skinny/curvy. Relatively big boobs and hips and small waist, size 2. They definitely don't work for everyone.


@frigwiggin Huh. I like that even better, actually. Have been avoiding Anthropologie since I found out its owner is a Republican who funds anti-gay legislation, so maybe I can find something directly from Maeve?


@sudden but inevitable betrayal I just got some great dresses there this past weekend!! They have so many beautiful Calvin Klein shift dresses for like $40 each.


Does the BB stand for something? (Hi I'm an idiot).


@Kate Croy Beauty Balm, I'm pretty sure.


@Kate Croy Beauty Balm


@notinseason @maevemealone Aha. I had seen the Garnier one and I thought it was a brand-specific thing. Thanks!


@Kate Croy booting bodies' billions of blistering blue barnacles..


@nyikin bloody brilliant!


@Kate Croy initially? Beblesh balm. Yeah, I don't know what it means either.

fuck fuck fuck

@Kate Croy i read that that was because "blemish balm" was copyrighted or something??


@maevemealone HA! I've been using one that my sister gave me for over a year, and I had no idea it was the same as the BB thing everyone talks about. (Clarins Beauty Flash Balm.) Whattt have I really been using a skin lightener? And sister, why would you give me such a thing! (This is what happens when you rely upon other people to make your cosmetic choices for you.)

chicago sally

@Kate Croy I totally thought it was Bumble & Bumble branching out into skin care, and partnering with other cosmetics companies to do it. I'd actually be excited about that.


Woah. That's not what I got from BB Cream at all! I use the Smashbox and it has SPF 35, which is the max I've found in anything. It's more like a tinted moisturizer, and probably not living up to it's swiss army knife selling points of primer, moisturizer, spf, brightener, does the dishes and tucks me in at night, but I am not wrathful towards it.


@maevemealone I've been using the Smashbox BB cream too, and have similar feelings. I was out of drug store foundation and decided to try something new. I still use primer (Monistat chafing gel...holla!), and I feel like I kind of have to use a lot of the cream...but maybe not really that much. I get decent coverage and it does feel really really nice when I put it on. I stopped using powder b/c I thought it looked nicer and "deweyer" without it despite the fact that I'm your classic olive-skinned greaseball. I've gotten compliments on my makeup since I started using it. All that said, I'm not sure it has changed my life as dramatically as I hoped it would. And it's expensive. So my foundation search may continue after I run out of the stuff.

Hiroine Protagonist

High-waisted shorts die. Just die. Just have an existential crisis and doubt your own existence and then wink out of reality with a small but ringing pop.


@Hiroine Protagonist I don't know about you, but my big ole' booty just can't do those.

Hiroine Protagonist

@TheRisottoRacket I believe they were invented by Monistat to geometrically increase the numbers of yeast infections in hipster society.


@Hiroine Protagonist Low rise shorts have to go, too, because they also always have, like, a 2" inseam, which essentially leaves me the equivalent of wearing a bandeau bra to cover my fun zone.


@Xanthophyllippa @Hiroine Protagonist I'm with you both. High-waisted shorts die, super low-rise shorts die...just give me something reasonable, people. Though, I guess I feel stupid in 98% of shorts, so maybe it's a personal problem.

PS nice name Hiroine!


@Hiroine Protagonist I know Jane is being kind but shorts are rough for people with big thighs and YES--people do notice and say things. Mean, gross, sexually harassing things.


@parallel-lines But Bermuda shorts - those seem to work for me, despite my thigh-width? Or am I just living in a dream world? Crap.

Jane Err

@parallel-lines Shorts shopping is the worst thing that's ever happened to me every time. They feel that horrible to try to buy.

I loathe summer strictly because of the clothing, and have a minor panic attack on every sunny morning trying to find something to wear. Maxi dresses are great, but I live in the mountains, I can't wear them every day. And even then, most of them are sleeveless, and I'm so not cool with that. PANIC! SKY IS FALLING!


@Jane Err What! You guys! I am totally fat and you know what I say about people telling me I can't wear shorts? "go fuckyourself" that's what. It is like eyebrow pencil - you think it looks terrible and freaky but nobody else does, unless they're assholes who don't enjoy well-defined, pretty eyebrows. Wear shorts! It's hot! Fuck the man, you look great!


@smack It's not that I physically cannot wear shorts--it's that I don't appreciate the running commentary that comes with it. And yes, it is extremely, painfully, tear-jerkingly difficult to find shorts for big thighs--if they fit your waist they're usually too tight on the leg or ride up on the inner thigh and it's hard not to tiptoe into mom short territory. Honestly, it's a lot more trouble than it's worth.


@parallel-lines Yes yes yes. :( I rock the skirt most of the summer because shorts make my legs sad. They gape at my waist to the point where it feels like they should fall down! But they don't because they are stuck tight on my thighs.

That said, culottes or swing shorts are fun to say and wear. Especially once I discovered that using deodorant on your thighs means things don't ride up as much.


@sydwi Skirts are so cute and I wish I could solve my shorts issues by being a skirts-all-the-time-in-summer girl, but I hate not being able to sit or move any damn way I want. I mean, that's fine when I'm in the mood, but i'm not in the mood most of the time.


@Hiroine Protagonist Noooooo, I love high-waisted shorts! I have a high waist and an hourglass figure and high-waisted shorts fit me so much better than regular shorts. Of course, I also own a vintage bullet-bra and wear it, so you can't trust anything I say


@Ophelia Bermuda shorts seem to work for me as well. I think because the hem doesn't hit you at an awkward bugling point?


@Killerpants - I live in skorts in summer. I look terrible in shorts and I am not careful enough in skirts so these are perfect. They are casual and also come in plaids and prints and with a tank or tee are my summer uni. Until I go home and take a shower and put on a maxi and pour a cold drinky-poo. :>


There is no way in hell I would ever look good in the caftan thing. You just aren't going to convince me that I can pull it off, but then again, I have never let not looking good in something comfortable dissuade me from wearing said something.

BB Cream, I don't quite get. Why not just wear Laura Mercier's tinted moisturizer and be done with it? And Jane, I did try Jouer, and while I like it, I am def. in camp Mercier on that front.


@karion Team Mercier 4eva!!


@karion Yes - love love love Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer for the Summer.


"your friend who owns the baby"

don't embarrass the baby

This may be my favorite Beauty Q&A yet.

Neve Garrett

@frigwiggin AgreeD (just reading this!). But, re "your friend who owns the baby" -- perfect, but, alas, the other way around: the babies TOTALLY own their parents.


Maxi dresses/caftans. Yes. It is just what I feel like throwing on most days now that the weather has turned. Looks great with sandals, flats, wedges. It can be a casual runaround outfit. Or, dress it up with a big bangle or dangling earrings. Throw on a scarf and you're done.


@Limaceous YES. I wear maxi dresses all summer long to the office and get complimented constantly.

@Limaceous You guys have given me the courage to try it! I'm short (not quite 5'3") with the hips and boobs and fuck it, I am sort of shaped like an earth goddess.


@S. Elizabeth Doooo ittt! Doooo itttt!


@S. Elizabeth let's go shopping for maxi dresses together some time this summer. I am 5'3"-ish, and built a bit like a smaller facsimile of Christina Hendricks - boobies, hips, booty. (I had to look up her measurements to figure that out, because I just assumed she and I were the same size, and apparently not? Thank you, television, for skewing my perspective of what sizes look like.)

@stonefruit ME TOO! I like to describe my look as "Joan Holloway on Acid." Today is one of my more mild outfits -- a very VERY fitted black silk sheath dress with a 60s-inspired yoke neckline, a curry orange Jackie cardigan, chunky tortoise glasses, and pointy toed patent leather black pumps. Pearls, signet ring, Seiko watch.


If you're going to use BB Cream: Asian brand or bust.


@di name some Asian brands please! Does Shisheido count? I have never heard of BB Cream until today and feel very left out of the loop.

guttenberg mania

@beanie i use Skin79's bb cream (the one in the hot pink tube) and i cannot sing the praises of this thing enough. It is so moisturizing and just takes the redness out of my cheeks--all that I really need. It also blends in PERFECTLY to my skintone, even though it goes on a little...gray? Smells nice too. Definitely don't sense any bleaching taking place, but then again I'm a pale lady so maybe if you're gunning for a tan this summer it isn't your best bet. It's on amazon!

Miss Torso

@di Agree! Missha BB changed my life. I'm one of those people who's never been able to figure out (and thus never worn) foundation, but increasingly needed something to even out my (white, freckly) skin. I think I got turned onto Missha during an extensive Google session on foundation alternatives. It is the rare BB with multiple shades (and two different formulations). SPF 42 (and a *trustworthy* 42), makes this magic adjustment to your complexion, perfect and yet very natural, almost translucent coverage. I honestly didn't think they made something that could work this way on my skin. Can't recommend it highly enough. They have their own site (missha.net) and you can order directly from there.

lemon mint fizz

@di Are there brands that are for girls with darker skin? Like...not golden-caramel skin, but brown-as-dirt skin? I have Viet roommates who were buying some up, and even they had trouble (they have skin that is apparently dark "for Asians"--their words, not mine!). I already have Indian society telling me how undesirable my dark skin is--I don't know if I'd want BB creams to do the same.


@lemon mint fizz Oh man, to be honest, I don't know if any East Asian brands offer darker shades. It may be worth it to see if there are actually Indian make-up brands that have also gotten into the BB cream industry? Otherwise, I order overseas cosmetics from sasa.com, so you could try your luck there, but I don't think they're super great at showing shade examples because they assume everyone has the desired pale East Asian skin. :\


YES to the maxi dresses. I am 6-months pregnant and they are saving my life. Pre-purchase, my husband was all "you want to buy a muu muu?! UGH." Post-purchase: "wow, you look amazing."

All my maxi dresses are from Old Navy, because I am cheap. But they're honestly super comfortable, and when paired with nice accessories they look really good. I just got an email from them saying all their dresses are currently on sale (online) so clearly it is fate. Go buy some! You will be so happy.

I wear this one: http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=82536&vid=1&pid=462068&scid=462068012 in grey/white stripes pretty much every evening when I get home.

Special note to LW who has an hour-glass figure: get a form-fitting one, instead of one that gets wide and flowy at the bottom.


You are six months pregnant? I am six months pregnant.



@l'esprit de l'escalier omg YES PLEASE. I so badly need more pregnant people in my life that are not nuts. How do we make this happen?!


@dk I happen to be sane! And noncompetitive! Let's start a google group--I'll try to figure out what to do and then report back on the open thread tomorrow.

And maybe all y'all parentses out there can post pictures of your wee bairns, human/pooch/kitteh/gerbil!


@dk @l'esprit de l'escalier ALSO SIX MONTHS PREGNANT, HELLO! Well, 5 & 3/4s but STILL.


And I believe there are more!


@l'esprit de l'escalier Ha! How did you know that my one sane pregnant friend tends to be super competitive?!


@dk @dk @l'esprit de l'escalier Can I join? I am 7 months pregnant! And all the other pregnant ladies in the world seem so NOT pinny.




Jane! I LOVED The Little House. It was my favorite children's book.


@nerdicity I loved it too! I was so stoked to see it. I haven't thought of it since I was a child.


Why I like bb cream:

1. I can apply it with my fingers. So I can smear some moisturizer on and then smear some bb cream on top of it and it blends really naturally and I'm done.
2. The ones that are from either Japan or Korea tend to be somewhat yellowy in tone. I can't wear most tinted moisturizer because they're too pink for my skin tone. I literally once spent an hour despondently wandering through Nordstrom looking for a foundation that worked with my skin tone. I did find a nice one by Nars... but I have to apply it with a sponge to get it to look right.

So, in short: bb creams are good for hella low maintenance women who fiend after moisture and sun protection (hello, my 30s!) and particularly good for women with olive skin tones.

I also must say that I got the Dr. Jardt's+ sample in the much maligned May birchbox and when I managed to scrape a little out I was not thrilled. Granted there was enough to cover one cheek, but it was thick and harder to apply than the one I use, this Korean shit called Skin79 that comes in a sparkly bottle.


@insouciantlover Skin79 is on some next level shit. Cheek stain in the cap!


@contrary what the shit???? That's not the kind that I got!

It does look really incongruous to have this ridiculous Vegas vodka looking skin product next to all the organic shit in my cabinet, that's for sure.


@insouciantlover The one I just got from another brand is super twee looking and has a cat chasing a butterfly on the tube. I wish I could read the writing because I'm not really sure whats going on.


@insouciantlover i am pale and have slightly yellowy tinted skin? and i get redness. the ONLY bb cream cream that even remotely matched me was clinique. i think i tried on like 10 of them at sephora.


@contrary @insouciantlover Holy crap, that is CHEAP! Tell me more about this stuff. Does it have a scent? I hate weird scents, but could live with it if it goes away quickly. What is the difference between this and the stuff in the pink bottle, or other bottles? SPF level it looks like? Ah, my finger is itching on the "add to cart" button.


@Killerpants Ah, I found the link downstream to the comparison chart. Brilliant!


@insouciantlover "much maligned May birchbox" IS RIGHT!. (My extreme displeasure with them these past few months is another thread in itself) I tried that sample just around my eye area and it was gone. No idea what is was supposed to do or did.


@SuperMargie I canceled my birchbox over that and sent them a super whiny email. I guess there are a few other similar companies, namely glossybox and myglam or glambox or glambag or something. Gonna give one of them a try because I felt like that was such bait and switch, talking about Dior and then sending me... whatever I got that wasn't Dior.


@Killerpants I hope you come back to read this!
It has a very very light scent that fades as soon as it soaks into your skin.
The gold bottle, from what I could tell when I drunkenly smeared a bunch of samples on my hand in Japantown, just blended into my skin better. It reads as almost greyish taupe when you squeeze a little out, which somehow translates on my skin as "brightening" - I'm not sure how else to describe it, but they claim to have crushed up rubies or some shit in the formula so I think it reflects light better, making my face look less, uh, haggard at 6:30 in the morning.

I gotta say, the bb cream has become a staple in the way that very few products are for me... it's basically that, blush and lip balm every day, done.


@insouciantlover Hey, thanks for answering!


@SuperMargie @killerpants Birchbox has been super upsetting for me lately too. I got laundry detergent as my lifestyle extra in april when other boxes had these awesome face mitt cleaning cloth things that were worth $28!

For the skin79 BB creams, I ended up really liking the "intense classic balm" (tan tube) because my skin is super oily and kind of a diva. The gold one didn't really help keep my oil in check, it's probably better for dry skin. The pink one is really popular and super easy to find on amazon, so if you've got $10 to spare (maybe from canceling Birchbox?) I'd start there.


@contrary for the record, i got that face mitt thing. It made me break out so bad. It feels all soft when it's dry, but once it's wet, it's like rubbing scratchy canvas on your skin.


@contrary I would be pissed to get laundry detergent too! I got the exfoliating mitt thingy and like Lady_Terminator said, it is ROUGH. I couldn't possibly use it on my face w/out doing damage, and it's even borderline too scratchy for the rest of my body. So depending on your skin sensitivity, the mitt might not have been much better unfortunately.


@Lady_Terminator @Killerpants I use the exfoliating mitt on my butt and my upper arms, also known as the why the fuck do I have acne here places.


@Killerpants that kind of sucks. wermp. I just think it's silly that they put something worth ~$30 in one box as an extra, and then something worth less than a dollar in others.

Also, I had emailed them because the notecard I got in my last box had smudges all over it and the envelope was and crinkled and they said they would send me a replacement, but they just sent the card without a new envelope. What am I supposed to do with a notecard that doesn't have an envelope? (I will still totally use it but that's not the point).


@insouciantlover Ha! Yea, what is UP with those places? Such jerks.

@contrary That sucks. They really seem to be struggling over there. Both problems I've had with them I've felt they've resolved satisfactorily, but that doesn't seem to be happening for everyone. And I agree that the boxes sometimes seem uneven. I hate the "lifestyle extras" or whatever they call them. They're always something I would never care about. Like the tiiiiny little packet of organic granola. What WAS that? Thank you for that thimble of granola, I'm really motivated to go buy some now or something. Dumb.


I love BB Cream! I started using it in the fall, and I keep waiting to find out something awful about it because so far, it seems way too awesome. I use Missha's (http://www.amazon.com/MISSHA-Perfect-Cover-Cream-Bright/dp/B001HKUBL0/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top), and it's usually the only thing I put on every morning for work. I just use a little bit and it makes my pores look smaller and my acne way less noticeable. It's not oily or heavy--I've never gotten that melt-y feeling that made me swear off liquid foundation. It also blends into my yellow-ish, thank-you-Portuguese-grandmother skin better than anything else I've tried. And my acne's gotten better since I started using it! Plus, best summer makeup--SPF 45!

I may have bought several of my friends BB cream for Christmas because I was so psyched right after I discovered it...


@CaitDocet I mean, I finally made an account after creeping on here forever because I think this stuff is so great that I have to rave about it whenever I get the chance. If that's not worth like, all of the yelp, I don't know what is.


Shorts question: I keep seeing shorts made of silk, lace or other impractical fabrics in Nordstrom. Is anyone actually wearing these? If so, how?


@Megan@twitter uh, I am that lady wearing silk shorts (I got them with a discount) and yes, mistake. They crease and I sweat and bad news all around. I look cute standing though?


@beanie Maybe sleep in them, if they don't have a horrid waistband?


BB creams made for the American market pale (ha, sorry) in comparison to the ones manufactured in Asia. I've tried a whole bunch of different ones, and all the US brands are pretty much tinted moisturizer with beefed up SPF protection (but not even that much, usually? like 25-30? meh). But anyway, the whole point of BB cream is to have it be a one step thing of skincare + makeup + sun protection instead of using moisturizer, anti aging potion, sunblock, primer, foundation, concealer, powder, etc. I just got a new one from Korea that was $10 (with shipping!) and it works better than any foundation I've ever used (and I've bought some doozies), and I literally just smack it on my face in the morning and put a little powder over it to set it. I don't know if they actually do all of the skincare things they claim to do, but my super sensitive, acne prone skin hasn't objected much.


@contrary For some reason, the use of "potion" made me laugh here. So mysterious-sounding!


Awesome! What's the name of $10 Korean brand?


@CVFA You can get Skin 79 (I mention it above and I wuv it and it's Korean) for about $10 on Amazon. I use the VIP gold. Impressed? Yeah you are.


@CVFA I like skin79 and Holika Holika. A lot of people like Missha but I couldn't find a color that worked for me (the other 2 only come in 1 shade that oxidizes to your skin tone) and I didn't like the texture. There are a ton of fakes on amazon though, so be wary of where you buy from and read the shop reviews! I get stuff from the seller 'seoulglamour'- they ship directly from Korea and everything I've gotten has been legit. I have a friend who uses the seller 'costell' and she says all their stuff is legit too. I've also ordered from pretty and cute to get some of the harder to find skin79 formulations and other Asian cosmetics brands (they are US based).


@CVFA skin79's site has a super comprehensive chart that compares all the BB creams they make. You can get samples of the pink and gold kinds for a dollar through their site, but they take like a month to get to you.


@contrary I was going to buy the skin79 pink stuff but it says whitening on the bottle...and I can't imagine that stuff is good for you, whatever your skin. But I do like bb cream and I want something good. I don't use foundation so I like this light touch thing.


@pilcrow I think when they say lightening/whitening on them they mean brightening, not actually making your skin lighter. I'm super pale so maybe this feature does not work for me, but I haven't noticed my skin getting any lighter after using BB creams for a few months (I do have acne scars though, and those look pretty much the same, so, meh).


OK, I want to be helpful but all I can contribute is that the models in the plus-size Asos section are CUTE. What with being straight and female, it took me a couple minutes to figure out I'd drifted from clothes-shopping to perving.

Faintly Macabre

"If Edith had a baby, I'd get it a bottle of wine or..." I choked on my ice cream. And then you'd make a doll-head wineglass for the baby to play with and Edith to drink from?


Oh, you guys, I am like a broken record over here but I love, love, love that crazy Dr. Jart (thanks, punkahontas, for teaching me all about it on your blog)! Even my stupid, dumb sensitive skin loves it (so far, anyway; I and my stupid, dumb sensitive skin had a grand old time with that Bare Minerals too...until we suddenly didn't. Please let this not be the case here).

I use it over my regular moisturizer and apply just a little with one of those weird little triangle sponge things, and I find that it's nice even by itself (though I feel weird going out into the world without a brush of powder over it. It's a thing I have--I don't know...). Then mascara and whatever of the approximately 57 lip products I tend to forget I have before buying more... and done! It lasts a long time too... and SPF 54 (I am A Pale, and prefer to stay that way), whatever that even means anymore.

one cow.

@Hellcat I'm in the same boat with Dr. Jart. The first time I wore it to work, the first thing out of my coworker's mouth was "WHY does your face look so beautiful??" For reals! And I immediately was like, "Dr. Jart, yo!" But I also don't do foundation, so it just evens out my skin & gives SPF and all that. Super easy to apply & makes me feel more confident after getting a comment like that.


@one cow. And it stays put pretty nicely. I have to read a lot at work and I tend to do that "lean your cheek on your palm" thing and, even then, it looks fresh and good and just... effortlessly nice, I guess?


Oooh, maxi dresses are my jam, y'all.

I'm 5 foot, 113 lbs, with an hourglass figure. I have a little tummy and I like that. I can't stand pants in the summer and have slowly amassed a collection of maxi dresses in which I LIVE. Took me a while to figure out how to wear them without looking all stumpy and whatnot, and here's what I've come up with:

- If you don't like the way tissue tees show every bulge, stay away from jersey (the fabric, not the state. well, maybe the state). It can cling to unexpected places and look really unflattering, plus with regular wear it pills on your butt. Look for cotton, linen, or even thin rayon.
- What style of top is most flattering on you? For me, it's a halter neck, so I look for halter dresses- I can always throw on a sweater. Because I'm petite on top, those big dolman sleeves or blousy tops overpower me and contribute to the stump factor.
- Beware the empire waist. It works for some people, but those people are usually tall. Us shorties can get lost in the extra fabric, and generally benefit from a more defined waist. Belts are awesome- even loosely tying a fun scarf around the waist can do wonders.
- I find that I don't feel stumpy if i am wearing even a tiny (like 1/2-inch) heel. Sandals with low wedges are great- they give you just a bit of life and can make all the difference.

I feel like most of the maxi dresses marketed today are pretty shapeless, so i find a lot of my dresses on vintage websites and Etsy. Search for "halter maxi dress" or "v-neck maxi dress" and filter by price, color, etc. The measurements are usually listed so you can figure out what size you are, since vintage sizing is different from today's sizes. Sites like Rusty Zipper list their dresses by size range and have a great dress sale going on right now.

And accessories! fun earrings and a bangle look great with every dress, and giant-ass sunglasses are a must.


Etsy has been an awesome resource for me, too! I belt my free-flowing maxis/ caftans if I'm feeling' fancy.

RK Fire

@Papaya: This is really helpful stuff to know! I'm 5'2" and um.. thicker than you, and while I was really intrigued by that etsy store that Nicole linked to, I am not sure if caftans would swallow me up and make me look like a shapeless blob. I feel like I tend to look best in sheath dresses, so I thought I was shit out of luck on this whole maxi dress thing. It's good to know that there's hope!


@Papaya Another shortie fearful of the maxi dress. Thanks for the tips! Maybe....maybe....


@RK Fire Yeah, it took me about 10 years to realize that I actually look thinner when I wear smaller, more form-fitting clothing that shows a few bumps instead of the huge dresses with lots of fabric that cover all the bumps. I am slow on the uptake, yes.


@RK Fire i'm 4'11 and about a size 18(ish) the empire waist is my friend, because it allows me to wear a lot of different sizes (swear to god, i bought a size 8 the other day that fit me perfectly) and i can use it to de-emphasize the belly if i want, and usually draw attention to poncho and lefty (my boobs) when i need. with maxi dresses and caftans, always have a good selection of belts and sashes. my favorite muumuu is a green rayon hula-girl print monstrosity that i'll belt and pretend it's not the dress i wear when hanging clothes on the line with my hair in rollers. also, can we talk about puebla dresses? http://www.lamariposaimports.com/adultpuebladresslamariposa.htm

@RachelTheC "and usually draw attention to poncho and lefty (my boobs)..."

<3 x 1000.

RK Fire

@Papaya: Yeah, in sheath dresses I feel like Freakin' Asian Joan Holloway except with emphasis on the ass and less on the boobies, but with lot of fabric I feel.. kind of frumpy and stumpy? It could be that I'm just not finding dresses with the right fabric (jersey may be a problem here) and the right cut. I am totally open to this, which is why I am eyeballing the etsy store with the kaftans that was in the OP with a VENGEANCE.

@RachelTheC: I dread the empire waist after numerous experiments but I never bothered trying it with a belt before so.. I am completely willing to go in that route. Thanks for all of the advice, ladies!

P.S. Those puebla dresses are really cute!


Hey letter writer #1! I work with kids and although I love dressing up and looking cute, there's no point when I am sweaty and dirty all day. I also have the exact same body type as you. These shorts are a godsend. I have them in literally every single colour. They're long enough to cover thighs but short enough to still look cute. They're also quite sturdy and have held up through washings. I wear a basic white or gray tee with the bright colours and look decent.

Also, I think christening gifts should be something special and a little more fancy like a keepsake. Toys and clothes are more appropriate gifts for birthdays IMO.


@likethestore dude, Gap has really been killing it lately. I think I'm such a fan because their t's aren't stomach hugging.


@beanie Same. When I started this job I basically needed a whole new wardrobe since I had very few kid-friendly pieces and Gap has outfitted me head to toe.


@likethestore Oh my god thank you for that link!


@likethestore The Gap has some really great maxi dresses right now too. They're pretty expensive, but fit really well especially compared to the cheaper versions at Target. I'm tall and hourglassy in shape if that helps.



Okay. I would totally submit this to A Lady, only it is Time-Sensitive!

I just got a big chunk of money, which means I can actually buy some clothes, which is great because I need them!!

I think I'm built rather like LW #1 here-- I'm a serious hourglass, with teh boobs and teh hips and a waist that's 10-12 inches smaller, depending on the week (serious fluctuations with the menstrual hormones). I generally take around a size 8, but of course that changes drastically depending on the brand. (Is it just me or does H&M have weirdly small sizes?)

So, I need summery clothes, but some items that can work for fall/spring/winter depending on layering.

And now here is the kickier part: I am going to be travelling around this summer, including working for a month at a church, mostly with kids, and also taking the train across the U.S. twice, and also hanging out in a couple of decently-sized West Coast cities. So I need clothes that

a) are church people/kiddo appropriate
b) travel well
c) are kind of grown-up clothes, because I'm graduating university and getting married, and it seems like I should maybe have nicer clothes than the ones I bought in highschool?
d) aren't too absurdly expensive, because I'm still a poor student.

I like high waisted pants, because they fit my bum/waist pretty well and don't do the muffin top thing, and also show off my waist. Also my thighs tend to chew the crotch out of my pants VERY FAST. So... there are those things; I'm not willing to spend a ton of money on pants unless I know they aren't going to wear out in six months.

Also I need bras. ARGH. BRAS ARE ALWAYS SO STRESSFUL. Nobody makes my size (34DD).

Ideas/tips/pats on the head? I have no idea how to shop for a friggin' WARDROBE.


@sniffadee i would check out old navy because they have a casual and then business casual kind of thing going on these days and the deals are pretty good and I find the quality to be as good as the gap (if not better, my gap clothes stretch way more than old navy)

also there used to be a smartset in that kind of weird shopping mall across from the eaton's centre on university (I think?) and I LOVE smartset for affordable grown-uppy clothes, I seriously do so well there all the time. half my wardrobe is smartset. they often have wicked sales.


@sniffadee This is not immediately very helpful, but that is also my bra size and I feel your pain. If you are ever in the UK I would recommend Marks & Spencers, because they have all kind of cute bras in my size with a much wider selection than in the US.

That said, Victoria's Secret always manages to have at least a few things, and they hold up really well.


@sniffadee: Sounds like you know your shape and the kind of clothes that work on you- that's awesome. Look at your current wardrobe: what items make you feel fantastic? What is it about those items- the cut, the length, the pattern, the fabric? Go shopping with that feeling in mind, and look for clothes that make you feel happy.

If you're highlighting your waist with the high-rise pants, look for cute short- or 3/4-sleeved blouses that can be tucked in or belted. A boatneck would accentuate your hourglass without being too revealing- classy and fashion forward! Consider a few sheath/shift dresses and get them taken in to show off your waist. Try and avoid "trendy" pieces in favor of more classic ones; you can always add great jewelry/accessories to update the look. Look into buying a few pairs of low-to-mid heels or wedges to be worn with cropped pants and dresses; the heel can help you really feel pulled-together.

And when you try on clothes, try not to expect everything to fit you perfectly. These things are mass produced by a company that has never. once. seen. your. body. If it fits perfectly, that's the exception, not the rule. I'd suggest earmarking some of your cash solely for good tailoring, and take your clothes to be "personalized." That way they will fit you perfectly and you'll feel so much better about your purchases!



This is super good advice. I think I need to sit down seriously and draw up a list. I love blouses, but it is SO HARD to find ones that don't make me look like a ship in full sail (yay to highwaisted things for helping with that), and I like a classy, early 60's style.

I haven't ever tried tailoring, but I think I ought to-- then I could buy dresses that fit in the bust and hips and take them in at the waist! My fiancé's grandma is very good at seamstressing; mayyybe I should ask her to teach me. I am so loathe to spend money on things I could learn to do myself!!


@redheaded&crazie Old Navy always fits me weird, except their dresses. I usually love their dresses. But their pants... I dunno, they fit weird.

I <3 Gap pants, though. Size 8 short fits like it was MADE for me.


@sniffadee Sounds like we have similar builds. A few thoughts. First of all, get a cardigan, in case it gets suddenly cold or the AC is cranked. Cardigan is your travel friend! And since it's summer, you'll find them on deep clearance, but probably only online at this point.

Since you are ample chested, you have probably preferred scoop necks and v necks. But kids means Constant Bending Over, and that means scoops are not the best idea UNLESS you wear camis under them and sometimes its too hot for layering. Although, layering does make you look pulled together, so if you're going to be in AC all day then you may want to go for that. Crew necks are ok, but boat necks are your absolute best option. They are classy and flattering to us stacked ladies. EDIT: i see you love them, yes, ok!!! I would also bend-test any shorts or dresses you get. church is not the place to showcase your glorious gams.

The other thing to consider is your personal style; you say you're into retro stuff, so consider classic shapes like Capri pants and nautical striped shirts. Watch out for button down blouses, they can be super cute but it is so easy to pop a button in those things. I hear ModCloth has very cute dresses with retro flair, might be worth a look.

Cheap places for clothes: Old Navy, Target, and whatever discount stores are in your area, like Ross, TJ Maxx, Nordies Rack. And just resign yourself to the fact that you are going to be trying on a bazillion things and returning/rejecting like 85% of them.

*massively edited for blather, by the time I posted you'd already hit on a lot of my points yourself* :)

One last weird tip: you can often find more conservatively cut, but still cute, on trend, and flattering shirts in the maternity section. It seems counterintuitive for an hourglass shape, but try it, just to see. I've gotten lucky more than a few times in Target's maternity dept.


@sniffadee I am another hourglass, and a good percentage of my wardrobe comes from Kohl's, Target, and occasionally Old Navy. BUT for cheap, stylish work clothes, I would say New York & Company. Their Madison button down shirts are actually flattering on me!

And, if you're looking for work pants, I would recommend (shhhh!) Fashion Bug. They do a line of curvy cut pants that are awesome.


@stormageddon This is the Best Advice. Maybe you should also be A Lady?

I do have a definite Personal Style, but I am also guilty of impulse-buying things that look how I WANT to look, but aren't me at all. I would describe my personal style as Joan Holloway meets Audrey Hepburn meets Joan Jett meets Nicky Minaj meets An Old Gypsy Lady in a United Colors of Benetton advertisement. At least, that's basically what I'm going for most of the time.


@stormageddon I am so totally trying that maternity trick. Huh.


@sniffadee It's a fantastic idea to learn how. You are lucky to have your fiancé's grandma to learn from -- what a great way to become closer to the family! That said, it can still be really nice to take certain things in to a seamstress from time to time.

Waists are the hardest thing to alter in clothes. I am very petite, so I hem pants and take in the straps on tank tops all the time, but the only waists I take in are t-shirt waists -- anything else, off to the seamstress. Darting - the seamstress! By the way, seamstresses are even more skilled than tailors. You would think it's the same thing, but no, they really do specialize in men's vs. women's clothes plus seamstresses will make things from scratch or do more challenging jobs that most tailors refuse. Seamstresses are the best. Highly recommend supporting your local seamstress.

katie s.@twitter

@sniffadee a ton of people make your size - i wear your size, and buy lots of underwear. they just don't make it for target or victoria's secret or the department stores. find any independent boutique that will fit you, and they'll have it. or buy some things on figleaves.com or somewhere where they have good sales on brands like freya, and you won't be able to believe your bounty.

@Amanda@twitter I was a 34D last summer and then birth control happened and now my boobs are bigger and I FEEL YOUR PAIN, sweet sister. I do, I do. Solidarity.



Bras: I'm a little bigger than you, so I go cacique all day long. most ladies (like me!) who shop there ain't a 34 anything, so i bet you can find deals. online is okay, but if you're near a store, GO THERE. they always have crazy amounts of crap on sale, in addition to whatever special is online.



Also, I haven't ordered from here yet, but i feel like the entire collective 'pin should know about: www.eshakti.com


@sniffadee I wear a 32F, so GURL I KNOW. Where was the last place you were fitted for a bra? If the first word in the name of the place was "Victoria's" and the last word was "Secret," your size is probably wrong anyway. Last time I went shopping for a bra there, they told me I was a 38DD. People of VS, just b/c you don't make my size does not make me a 38DD!

Do you have a Nordstrom or a lingerie specialty shop in your area (not a sex shop, but a place where they custom-make bras and stuff)? They can do a proper fitting. I like Fantasie brand bras (they also have a sister brand Freya that's a bit cheaper). I know my size, so I just order them online. A properly fitting bra will change your life.


@chevyvan The last time I was fitted was at Victoria's Secret when I was... 15? And they told me I was a 36D which was TOTALLY wrong. When I wear a 36D my boobs fall out the bottom and spill over the top. I came to the 34DD conclusion through trial and error. I can sometimes wear 34D-- depends on the brand/how close to ovulating I am-- but usually 34DD is perfect.

I found a couple of bras that are SUPER comfortable from Simon's (a Montreal department store), and I might just go back and get the same ones, but I would kind of like something with a little more lift and separation, ifyaknowwhatImean... sports bras give me the best look under shirts, but they always show around necklines. And I am nervous about buying bras online.

I intend to go check out a local vintage store that has a bunch of vintage lingerie and try and find a 40's style bullet bra, tooo...... :D

ayo nicole

@sniffadee Body twin! I lost weight recently so I'm still trying to figure out how best to dress myself, but definitely accentuate your waist as best you can. I'm a big fan of skinny, braided belts to cinch dresses and tops that can otherwise make me look larger because of my XL boobs.
And like many have said before me, get as far away from Victoria's Secret as you possibly can. I have a couple of bras from there (because I needed them in a pinch/was poor/had an Angels card), but they all fit drastically different and none are that flattering. My favorite bra ever is the Maidenform Dream Bra (I think I have the t-shirt one). It has the tiniest bit of padding and looks great under everything. For online shopping, I love barenecessities.com because you can search by bra size and they have a good self-measurement tutorial so you can be sure you're getting the right size.
The rest of the advice in this thread is great, and I will definitely be stealing it!


@sniffadee You should not have to resort to wearing sports bras under regular clothes! There's a better way!

I just looked on the Fantasie website and their bras are sold at Lingerie Lilianne in Montreal. Go there and get fitted and try on some bras. Once you know your size and find a bra/brand you like, you can go online and probably find them cheaper. I like barenecessities.com too. They have a good exchange policy if the bra doesn't fit you just send it back and they'll send you a different size.


Can we please talk about how annoying those Smashbox ads on Hulu (and probably elsewhere) where the lady says like "you can use BB" as if it were the name of a living entity are?

Bonnie Downing

I love the dress at the "one I'm wearing now" link, but I cna only see the image. Where did you get it? Pretty please.

Jane Marie

@Bonnie Downing hi bonnie! it's from Maison Scotch and i got it last year in montreal on deep discount. i don't think it's available these days :(



Bonnie Downing

@Jane Marie came back to check for the answer. I love Indian print cotton things that remind me of what I wore in high school AND I love any kind of caftan-mumu-smock-tunic.

Jillsy Sloper

Who wants to sew the 1 Hour caftan with me?


@Jillsy Sloper Unfortuntately, given my lack of a sewing machine, I think it would be a 36-hour caftan, and my fingers would have a lot of needle-pricks.


I really want to love the Garnier BB cream, but it makes me shiny. Or, in makeup-speak, "dewy." Like, it evens my skin tone I guess? And makes my face look minorly made-up, but I DO feel compelled to wear blush (does 'evening skin tone' equal 'removes the color from your cheeks,' I don't know these things), and now when I wear it I also put matte foundation on my t-zone, which is better BUT higher maintenance. SO BASICALLY its pros: cheap, kind of works. Its cons: cheap, kind of works, ~dewy.

But I also don't want to pay $39 to try the Dr. Jart kind, even though @Punkahontas talks that ish right up on her blog? My Tribulations, etc.

The Lady of Shalott

@singstrix Could you get a sample of the Dr Jart kind from Sephora? Usually they're pretty generous with the samples.


@singstrix see upthread! You can get awesome Asian BB creams for $10-20 from various sites. I tried the Garnier and it was too dark and also made me look super shiny. I tried the Dr. Jart water fuse and felt very meh about it, it also left me very shiny and didn't offer any coverage whatsoever. It was also hard to spread out on my face (that could have been me though).


Everything I've heard and read about BB creams leads me to believe there is no across-the-board difference between them and any other foundation/tinted moisturizer. It's just marketing an "ancient Chinese secret" that's really plain ol' tinted moisturizer with SPF.


BB Cream is great for the people who keep writing to you insisting that they don't want to wear foundation. The coverage is a happy medium between foundation (too much) and tinted moisturizer (not enough.) I've used a few different kinds and I like how they just blend into my skin and even it out and not make me look like I'm wearing makeup. It's definitely not a replacement for all other skin products - I still use some concealer around my nose and under my eyes, or if I have a blemish, and if you have major scarring to cover it's probably not for you.

Essentially if you have pretty good skin already and you like the idea of foundation but not the execution, BB cream is great.


I signed up JUST to comment on this. For LW2: Check out this etsy shop for foundation: http://www.etsy.com/shop/MadisonStreetBeauty . I switched last summer (I was also a Physician's Formula user) and this stuff just takes it to the next level. I love, love, love these products. My skin actually cleared up a bit after I started using the foundation. They're vegan, the gal who runs the shop is SUPER nice, and the eyeshadows are amazing. Seriously some of the best colors ever. And it's relatively cheap, especially if you can catch them when they have one of their sales (which happen, like, all the time. There's one happening right now!).

Seriously, if anyone is a mineral foundation user, I cannot recommend Madison Street Beauty highly enough. When combined with the Soapwalla deodorant cream that was featured here a few months ago and the oil cleansing method for my face, I feel like an UNSTOPPABLE WONDER-BEING OF ALL-NATURAL BEAUTY.


@unicornfighter thanks! LW2 here, and I'm checking it out.


I heard about BB creams through a friend and did some digging and went for an Asian brand - Missha - and have mixed but generally happy feelings about it. I don't usually wear more than tinted moisturizer and little powder for shiny spots, so the one I got felt soooo thick. I "water" it down with my Simple moisturizer from Target and then it's AMAZING and perfect and my skin looks even and happy. Here's what I got - http://www.amazon.com/MISSHA-Perfect-Cover-Cream-Natural/dp/B0027A7CLG/ref=pd_ys_ir_bt_1. It was $16 including shipping and though it initially said it'd get to me in 1.5 months (cue angry BB cream freak out), it got to me in about 2 weeks. It doesn't need powder on top, covers under eye circles, and can be built up over blemishes. Also it was cool to get mail from Korea.

It's worth a try if you feel like it!


LW1 - SHORT DRESSES! (over shorts! but you many not need that second part, i'm a 6ft and ladies dresses hit my panty line) when i lived in super muggy and sunny long beach when my kids were 1 and 4 and i chased them around this was my go-to. also a hat.

LW4 - i love love love my clinque bb cream. i put on a nonspf light moisturizer, then the bbcream and then a bit of blush/highlighter. depending on how heavy you apply it you may not need the blush at all.


I think my friend was wearing a BB Cream when her face was glowing under blacklight once!

Rieddhi Shah@facebook

Yet another recommendation for the Garnier BB Cream. It's a little to moisturizing for me, but my skin has gotten clearer and brighter since I started using it, so I don't use as much as I did when I started using it. But it's inexpensive, and does a great job.


Team "I really want to like BB cream" here. I tried the Garnier one after it was brought up on the 'Pin, but I was underwhelmed. The coverage was pretty light for my taste, but it was still super hard to remove at the end of the day. Then I got a few bumps. It's been relegated to backup status.

Currently trying Physician's Formula's "Youthful Wear Cosmeceutical Youth-Boosting Foundation." It's got cosemeceuticals! Science! It does most of the things a BB cream is supposed to do (coverage, skin tone evening/brightening, SPF) and my skin plays pretty nicely with it.

Which brings me to LW 2: Do you know about Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep database? It's strictly about rating the ingredients of the make-up, not reviewing the total package, but it's neat...neat in the way that inspires freak-outs over one's choice of shampoos. I could read it for hours.


@TheLetterL LW2 here: yes, the Skin Deep database is amazing and freakish. It makes me judge myself...and find better products.


Ah, BB Cream is so, so, so awesome! I'm in South Korea, the country of BB crea, so I see it everywhere: Face Shop, Skin Food, Holika Holika, Missha, etc.

Reasons why I love it: I suck at remembering to put on sunscreen, so it always makes me feel better that my BB cream includes SPF protection, too. It doesn't require any make-up skills (luckily), I usually just put it on with my fingers, and then put on some lip/cheek tint, and I'm good to go! Occasionally if I feel the potential for getting sweaty/shiny, I put on some powder too (Elf HD powder, because I'm cheap), but that's it. It's true that there are some "whitening" BB creams, but you have to buy that kind specifically since most don't do that.


@Hella I miss the spf being included! It was very handy when I was traveling for a weekend--didn't to bother lugging around sunscreen, too.

Hahaha@ all of the whitening products. Most of the East Asian whitening stuff is pretty much hokum am I right? I got some free whitening moisturizer once and used it, and it certainly never did anything to me, negative or otherwise.


@Hella Join the Google group! We want to plan a Korea pin-up (hopefully you're not the girl I already know about).


@Hella I don't think I am?? Anyway, the Google group, it has been joined.

Lila Fowler

@Hella YAYYYY Pinners in Korea! I'm the girl @sunshinefiasco has heard from(accidentally e-mailed you last week...). Let's make something happen!


I'm preeeetty sure BB cream stands for Blemish Balm? I wouldn't bet the farm on this but I do remember people calling it that. I used to live in Korea and got obsessed with BB cream, and finding THE PERFECT ONE, which was not so easy. The way I heard it, this lady doctor originally made BB cream as a cover-up for her patients who did, I dunno, laser/comestic demerlogical work or whatever. It was for super sensitive (post-procedure!) skin. I'm not sure if it was her idea to mass-market it (she's not Korean), but someone in Korea just took the idea and ran with it. Culturally speaking, Korea's really trendy: once one person has a "good idea," ALL of the companies are doing it. I think one of the appealing points is that it's "lighter" on the skin, for people who worry about foundation making them look old? Also, many BB creams come with anti-wrinkle (or so they claim) properties and spf. Even more than worrying about being tan, Koreans fear looking old.

The thing is, even the gamut of Korean BB cream is completely uneven. I'm too much of a cheapass for the nice, nice stuff, so I started with the cheapest: Faceshop, Missha, etc. It was all meh to me, too shiny or too matte. I became brand-loyal to Banila Co., 'cos the pink bottle matched my skin tone the best. Most BB creams come in only 1-2 shades (yellow-ish white and pinkish-white), so you have to find a brand that works for YOU specifically. What's a "good" BB cream for some doesn't work for others, b/c the coverage/colour might all wrong for you.

I use the Chinese version of Garnier's BB cream atm, and for USD8 I've got no complaints. I think if you're used to foundation it might seem weird, but I like that it takes 1 minutes to smear on my face and then stays put almost all day (I might need to touch up a bit for the evening). I briefly flirted with foundation and switched back immediately.

(BTW: if anyone wants some really useful info on Korean BB creams, I recommend this girl: http://annalog.blogspot.com/search/label/bb%20cream. She includes pics and everything.)


Oh good god, I have been spending all afternoon and evening searching for the perfect batik caftan for not-too-expensive on Etsy. WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME HAIRPIN

Terrifying Wife-Avatar

Hairpin. Get outta my head. Just this morning I was all "What is the deal with 'BB Cream' all of a sudden?" and I go away for a few hours and BAM!

. . . Quick, what am I thinking about now?


I have never found a foundation/concealer/primer/powder that worked for my horribly dry and sensitive face, saw BB cremes available locally and chose one from reading reviews on youtube that said they can work for people with crap skin like mine (got lioele something something "solution", the one without sunscreen cause I'm allergic) and it's a frikkin DREAM. Would still need a concealer for spots etc, and it tends to go oily on my nose after a few hours so some powder helps. But I can't live without the stuff now.

Regina Phalange

Did anyone else read the beginning of the first letter and think, "Novalee?"


So there's no BB Cream browner-skinned WOCs, right?


@tc They're harder to find. I don't think most of the Korean brands would work for you since they come in one light color that adjusts, but I don't know how far it will adjust (probably just a few shades though). I know Missha makes different shades, maybe you'd have luck with them depending how deep of a shade you need? I would check out sasaand see what you can find there since they carry every brand ever (though the prices aren't really discounted).

Some of the US brands make darker shades. I know Smashbox and Garnier do. L'oreal and Maybelline are supposed to be making BB creams soon for the US market as well, so they will probably have a range of shades.


@tc Lighter skinned brown lady here. I use Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse BB and it magically seems to adjust to my skin tone, as well as my daughter's, who is straight up white. I don't know how or why it does what it does, but I love it. The reviews are definitely all over the place regarding how it adjusts to skin tone, so maybe I'm walking around with ghost face and don't know it. I'd suggest getting a sample from Sephora before committing. I'm in the group of people who are afraid of foundation, but since I wear this every day I'm starting to wonder if that might be a better option for me.


@klaus ooo this is super interesting. I know you said you were afraid of foundation, but do you know your shade at all (or ballpark)? I've used the same Dr. Jart and it matched my skin tone pretty nicely, and I am super white (usually NC15/lightest shade a brand makes). I'm just curious to know how broad of a range it will cover, since it just looks kind of grey when it comes out of the tube.


@contrary I've never worn foundation so I can't say... I am mixed race, but mostly look Filipino and my skin tone matches other mixed / Filipinas like Cheryl Burke and Charlyne Yi. I tan pretty dark over the summer and am skeptical I'll be able to keep using it, but I guess I'll find out!


Re: natural foundations - I really like the Josie Maran Argan Matchmaking Serum Foundation. It's like a step above tinted moisturizer in coverage, and is really great at evening out comibnation skin - like it lightly moisturizes but doesn't get greasy throughout the day. Also it is a really great base for concealer. My only note is it is slightly warm in color - it's supposed to adjust to your skin tone, but it actually makes me (freckly light-but-not-super-fair-skinned Irish girl) look like I have a little color. I like that about it, but I've seen some reviews on it that claim it's a little too orangey for fair-skinned ladies.


@notbusy I second this! Love josie maran and all her goodness. I just switched over to this foundation recently because I had the same concerns as LW2 and I wanted to start wearing less makeup. I am also a very pale person-- as in, palest shade of MUFE pale. I'm using the very lightest shade and it works for me right now because I've been getting a bit of sun, but I'm afraid in the winter it will be too dark/orange. Other than that, I absolutely love it!!


@annestofannes Right? I use the light/medium. It smells really nice too!

sudden but inevitable betrayal

What the eff is BB cream?!


I must be the only one who likes BB cream! Mine is definitely not a whitening cream (though my Indian family has those and it really freaks me out), but more like a foundation/concealer/spf/moisturizer in one. I use the Garnier one in medium/deep and I absolutely love it, especially for summer so I don't have to layer sunblock and moisturizer all over my face.


Okay--I need some real talk time! Clarisonic owners/users--is it worth the scrill? Should I buy one today? Will it change my life? Will it make me break out like who (I have a wedding photo shoot in two weeks so I can't be all zitty). Please advise and thank you!


@parallel-lines I love Clarisonic and so I say yes, it's worth everything! It makes your skin cleaner than clean and so very pretty. I started using it after I finished with Accutane and my skin was all new and fragile and beautiful again. It definitely shouldn't make you break out, as it's meant to help exfoliate your skin, thereby preventing buildup and breakouts. Just make sure you clean the brush head and replace it every so often.


@parallel-lines I bought the $20 Olay one in Rite-Aid, and it seems to work quite nicely - my skin absorbs moisturizer better, and seems cleaner/brighter? But I haven't tried the clarisonic version, so maybe I'm missing out and have no idea.

Does Axl have a jack?

@parallel-lines Buy it. Seriously. Specifically the Mia, because the larger one is just unnecessary. And I personally never had any 'purging' type breakouts from it, so that's not ubiquitous, at least.


@parallel-lines I have one and I like it. I don't know about life changing, but my skin wasn't terrible before so maybe the difference has just been subtle. I do think it helps to make my tinted moisturizer apply easier and look better. I have oily/combo skin and got the deep pore cleansing brush (with the blue bristles) and I noticed a greater difference than with the brush it comes with. I do like using it, it feels really nice and my face feels so smooth after I use it, and I miss it when I forget to bring it with me someplace. That said it is expensive, so it's hard to say how worth it it is. But it is something I will probably use for a long time.


@parallel-lines I also have the Olay one and I really like it. I can't compare it to the Clarisonic but I can't imagine they are that different. My face definitely feels cleaner and I like to think that it looks brighter, but that might just be in my brain.


@armyofskanks Cool, this is awesome advice! I know it's only, like $30 but it's not like my face it that gigantic (or is it?)

Does Axl have a jack?

@parallel-lines The brushes themselves are the same size, even! The rest of the unit is just bigger and the charger is different.


@parallel-lines I regret my Clarisonic purchase. Did nothing for me. But I was a pretty religious exfoliator beforehand.


Ugh, no, no, no. I bought the original Clarisonic in a fit of skin despair, and I saw no improvement from my usual exfoliation routine (http://www.sephora.com/face-complexion-brush-P0096?skuId=1167352). I ended up giving it to my cousin, who also saw no difference. Now I just exfoliate with a little muslin washcloth I got for free, and things are as good as they've ever been.


@mmmdonuts It WRECKED my skin. Wrecked it. I am now firmly on the baking soda/water paste train, and my skin feels amazing.


I'm 5'2 and super busty. THE CAFTAN WILL NOT WORK MADAME. They simply do not work on short busty people. Or maybe I'm wrong?

Curse you tall people and your maxi dresses

However these super soft capri pants in jersey knit from Sirens for $10? Oh hell yes. I have like 5 pairs in ever colour.


@Jade I feel the same way! I am not as short but I am just too top heavy to wear something without a waist. That one in the photo with the ties at the waist might work, but it would be form fitting on the bust, not all drapey like it's supposed to be. I am kind of interested in trying a maxi skirt this year though.


@Punk-assBookJockey I once bought a 3/4 skirt cause it was really in... turned into a maxi on me. BAHAHA


Can someone please direct me to a maxi dress for a 5'2" girl (I'll get it hemmed if I must) that is actually under $50? Preferably under $40?

Nina B.@twitter

@elizabeast Old Navy has a bunch on sale today! Some are a little more casual, but others are a little more gussied up. They also have a petite section designed for people our size!


Question: Where do short people buy maxi dresses? All of the ones I've tried on have had 3-4 extra inches of material at the bottom. I don't do heels, and I don't want to drag my dress across the streets of New York.

Veronica Mars is smarter than me

@klemay I just asked this upthread, hopefully it will be seen since I added on to an already existing discussion?

Jane Marie

@klemay if you live in nyc, take things to any local tailor and they'll hem it for like 5-10 bucks. you know the ones that are tiiiiny little storefronts with really old signs.

Julie the T

THE LITTLE HOUSE. Oh man, I freaking love that book so much. Though from a city planner's (my) perspective, reading it now, it's just an example of what not to do. Get some best practice land use regulations in there! Don't build industrial next to residential! Factor in open space preservation! Yeesh.

Greta M.

For LW#2/ anyone: Vapour Organic Beauty has a really good cream stick foundation if that's your jam. And they're really good at helping you find the right colors!


I kind of wish that Dr. Jart and Dr. Haushka would form some sort of joint practice, and make crazy ads with weird accents.
"Dr. Jaaart!"
"Yesh, Dr. HAUshKA!"
"Prepaare ze serum for ze laaadies!"


YOU GUYS. I own those F21 shorts and just got complimented on them LAST WEEK. I wore them with a black and white striped top (I know! Stripes and patterns!) and these ombré hot pink ballet flats and it was awesome? I felt like it was wasted on hanging out with my parents in Ft. Myers.

Anyway! Those shorts rock but don't buy them so I look cuter but if you do, wash them separately b/c the dye is not colorfast.

Nina B.@twitter

@smack I wonder if Jolie's "soak them in vinegar" trick might help with the color situation?


I have the tarte foundation. It is excellent. Looking forward to the take down, though.


@NeuroSquatch I am also looking forward to it, because I can't imagine what's wrong with tarte products? I have their cheek stain & I like it!


Dammit Jane! Where did you get that mumu?! (THe one you're wearing right now) It's not fair that that's not MY mumu!


I am so intrigued by this whole BB cream discussion. I am in serious need of sun protection, and even though foundation/powder has worked really well for me in the past, it just feels like so much on my face when it's already hot. And then most sunscreen feels really gross to me. But it's only the beginning of summer and I already have a ludicrous sunglasses tan.


@needsmoresalt AND I have trouble not sweating off whatever I'm wearing, even sunscreen. I can't even begin to say how many times I've feared for my life riding my bike because I was suddenly blinded by melting sunscreen.

the angry little raincloud

@needsmoresalt You're not going to get enough sun protection from just a BB cream (I say this as a super pale, super-sensitive person). Maybe a powder sunscreen? I've been meaning to check into those for reapplying throughout the day. And they are usually physical formulas, so none of the potential reactions to some of the chemical sunscreens and UVA/UVB protection.


@the angry little raincloud Do you find that the powder sunscreen offers good protection?

the angry little raincloud

@needsmoresalt Alas, I haven't tried any of the powder ones yet. I can't decide whether to try the Peter Thomas Roth or Bare Minerals one, and I'm too cheap to buy both. It's such a great idea, though, that I hope they work.

Nina B.@twitter

@needsmoresalt Some moisturizers and tinted moisturizers have SPF protection in them! (Sorry, don't know much more than that, but I have heard good things about them. I hear they can be more sheer in application?)


@the angry little raincloud --I've done well with the PTR mineral sunscreen. It's fun to fluff all over your face, but the problem is that you can't really see it, so you don't know how much you've put on. Which is probably why it's worked so well for me--I probably put on more than I need to. Engage Mineral Shield!

p.s. be careful not to drop it constantly like me; it will eventually break (the inner push-up tube, not the outside, for some reason).


You short and curvy girls have inspired me to try a maxi dress, (though I am less of an hourglass and more of a whatever shape it is where your boobs and butt stick out a lot but your waist isn't that small).

I am wondering though, what do you do about your thighs rubbing together? I have some microfiber shorts from Target (like less tight Spanx) but they are still really thick and get me all sweaty. Gross. Has anyone else figured out a good solution?


@Cavendish I wear cotton/spandex bike shorts under a lot of my skirts and dresses. I hate shapewear. BUT I do have a pair of shorts that are Assets (the Target Spanx) that are like Spanx Lite. They are really thin and cool and don't squeeze me in too much. They have a cartoon picture of a girl with the wind blowing up her skirt, because I guess they're supposed to be cooler than the regular ones? I can't remember what they're called though. They're like my fancier underdress shorts, when bike shorts would show through.


@Cavendish Deoderant. No shit. I've tried everything - those fake Spanx, the Monistat rub cream, some kind of running glide stuff, etc. Nothing has worked better for me than straight up deoderant/antiperspirant. The nice thing is you can carry a travel size in your bag for quick reapply!


I use Estee Lauder's BB Cream and LOVE IT. It's like a tinted moisturizer with a shimmer to it that makes my skin dewy and awesome. Sometimes I wear just that, most tomes I use foundation on top in a few spots (under my eyes, around my nose, on my chin). Love the stuff, still as caucasian as ever (I don't think the American versions make you "whiter"??), but am a total BB Cream convert. I've tried a couple others, but Estee's is perfect.


I'm a BB cream fanatic, I especially love what Smashbox is serving up. It's not for people who prefer foundation, you're gonna be left with a, "DAT IT?!" feeling. But I don't like foundation, and go the tinted moisturizer route. I think of BB creams as souped up tinted moisturizer.


Am I the only one who doesn't get how a caftan and giant earrings are going to work while LW is climbing the jungle gym? I admit it makes a wonderful picture, though.


Christening gifts: We're kinda old fashioned about these in my family, so our go-to is a nice, traditional pewter baby mug with the wee one's name and birthdate. They aren't too pricy, and a lot of smaller jewelers will t the engraving for $10-20, and it's just a sweet keepsake to have.


Those in the UK, I really like 17's BB Cream. It makes me break out a little bit, I must admit, but it has a nice level of coverage and is SPF 25. Also the colors are pretty versatile. Plus, it's only 6 or 7 pounds!

Maybelline's has much less coverage, and is much less matte.

Flames on the side of my Face

I assume everyone is ignoring the linen idea because linen is the WORST. Especially in the heat. It gets so wrinkly, collects grass and dirt stains so easily, and shows sweat lines under your boobies. I would never recommend it for a day in the park. However, linen does look gorgeous when worn by models in magazines who don't have to do anything and just had somebody else do the pressing!


To quote Cat Marnell's xojane article on BB creams:
"I would add to all this now that BB creams were originally used in Germany by dermatologists to help laser surgery patients protect and soothe highly sensitive skin (while still getting light coverage); then Korean film stars found them, declared them the "perfect" beauty product, and they soon became known as the "Korean film star beauty secret." And then they hit the States (for a while, you could only get BB creams here off of Ebay!)." (article here)


Does anyone use BB cream or other foundation like product, and also the Proactiv stuff? If so, do you just pile on?


Ah! The Little House! Just looking at the cover makes me feel like I'm sitting indian-style (no PC "criss-cross applesauce" in those days) in front of a librarian in a seasonally-themed denim jumper. I'm happy the topic of gift-giving for babies came up; the first of my close friends is pregnant and this will give me enough time to carefully consider what kind of lady I want to be to this future person.

(not so) wise owl

I'm late to this discussion but I just discovered Garnier's BB cream (I think it technically stands for "blemish balm," but I've also seen "beauty balm") and it's been a life-changer. From what I understand, this product genre was developed for dermatology patients recovering from procedures like peels. The Daily Mail is not always an arbiter of accuracy but I remember finding this article interesting: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2002794/BB-Cream-The-balm-claims-moisturiser-sun-block-primer-AND-foundation-does-work.html

I spend good money on foundation because I wear it only every once in a while, usually for a special occasion, so I want it to look good and STAY PUT (random aside=Giorgio Armani Long-Wearing Silk Foundation is the shit and worth every goddamn penny). For an everyday product I'd been using Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer, but apathetically as it cost a lot and I was never entirely happy with the result. Finally tracked down the Garnier to CVS for, like, $12.99 and it's FANTASTIC. It's thicker than a tinted moisturizer, and in texture creamier/denser than my foundation when it comes out of the tube, but it spreads on very thinly and you can control the coverage. It has SPF, and for pale-skinned me the FAIR tint looks...glowing? Like tan but not "tan." It definitely smoothes things out, but doesn't cover them in the way a foundation would. It also doesn't dry in the traditional way that a foundation does-your skin stays fairly moist, and if you scrub your chin with a napkin or something to wipe off ketchup, etc., a bit of tint might come off.

Sometimes I use it by itself, but to "complete" a look I use a cream blush stick (NARS Orgasm, in case anyone cares) because it blends well, and then I brush powder in my eye sockets (up to the brow and then underneath) to stop mascara from smearing. On a extra-motivated I define my eyebrows, but that's about it! Five minutes, tops. I find I need a make-up removal wipe to take it all off, as it's pretty hard-wearing. Scrub with one of those Neutrogena things, and then use a normal cleanser. Like any base, I try to go without it one or two days a week to let my skin "breathe", and I make sure I exfoliate. I can't recommend Kiehl's Over-Night Biological Peel enough--I got a sample and was stunned by how smooth it made my skin, and I think biological exfoliators are better than physical ones for sensitive skin.

Try it. It's $13--if it's not for you, no great loss. But I'm 25 and I got my 60 year-old mother addicted, so it's pretty versatile.

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

The christening was built to last but the dollhouse was built too small?

Oliver St. John Mollusc

Oooh LW #1! I have ideas for you. I bought a jersey maxi-dress from Old Navy that I never wore because I thought it looked like a muumuu, BUT THEN! This summer I started seeing all these hot girls in my (Brooklyn) neighborhood wearing them tied in a big knot at the bottom. SO FRESH. I can only assume that way you get the cool breezes from wearing something loose and swingy, but you don't have yards of fabric around your feet tripping you up. Genius!

Also, with shorts: I too am hourglass-y and short-legged (and big-thighed), so I know how scary the following statement is but trust a sister: shorts are your friend, and the shorter, the better. I know! It sounds crazy! But the best thing you can do for a pair of short muscle-y legs is show basically all of them except that bulgy part riiiight at the top. And FWIW, I'm closing in on 32 so this is not coming from an NYU student who can flounce around in a romper and knee socks and look awesome. Good luck!

linds @twitter

the only bb cream i've tried is the one from garnier, but it hasn't given me a reason to try anything else! i didn't expect it to honestly even my skin tone or anything that it claimed... but it did! the coverage is a little buildable, but not full. i supplement it with mac's pro longwear concealer for coverage where i still need it, and my make up is set for the rest of the day! and since i started wearing the bb cream instead of my usual foundation and concealer routine everyone has started complimenting me on my skin :D


Black middies with high heel sandle looks great.

------ Rani recently blogged about Ichthyosis Blog


I like the products and dresses in the picture from where I can prchase them . exercised induced bronchospasm

Xa Hoi@facebook

About one in 10 people experience bronchospasm during physical activity, whether it’s running a marathon, custom furniture makers, bicycling a few miles or swimming laps in a pool. Many don’t recognize the problem and simply avoid strenuous exercise.

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