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I think I speak for all females when I say that shopping for clothing can fall into two categories:  a fabulous, stress-relieving experience or a raging beat down of your body.  We’ve all heard other women talk about themselves in the dressing room, and we’ve probably engaged in that kind of talk ourselves.  From “Wow, I need to lay off the pasta” to “I’m never eating again”, shopping for clothes can sometimes turn us into a mess of self-depricating emotions.

When I started the Weight Watchers program, I can’t really say I was hung up on getting to a particular size-I was much more hung up on getting to a particular number on the scale.  Honestly, I’m not sure why, but it never really occurred to me that my clothes would soon be too big.  Now that I’ve reached the number I had in mind, I’ve had my work cut out for me in the closet.  After weeding through my clothes a few weeks ago, and creating piles and piles of clothes that might never fit again, I have to say, I started to feel some anxiety around the size issue.

There is a lot of conversation around whether or not sizes for American clothing have changed.  As we all know, sizes vary depending on the store, brand, cut, etc.  For instance, when I bought new pants this weekend, I ranged from a size in the single digits to a size in the double digits.  Everything fit just fine, it just fit differently.  But that’s not where the anxiety I’m talking about comes from.

I’ve found on recent shopping trips that my brain simply can’t get used to the fact that I need to take smaller sizes into the dressing room.  I’m still grabbing the same old sizes I wore when I was 17 pounds heavier. My mom and sister look at me like I’m crazy, lol.  In the dressing room, these clothes look ridiculous, but there is still a voice in the back of my mind whispering, “You might need these when you gain it all back.  Don’t waste your money on the ones that fit.”  I’ve found that I often have to be forced to go back to get the smaller sizes, or someone literally has to get it for me and make me try them on.

I know this is all a side effect of  disordered eating.  I simply cannot come to terms with the fact that I’m wearing sizes I never even dreamed I’d fit into.  My brain doesn’t seem to want to let me think that it’s real-even though I can see the results, there is still something telling me that I’ll never fit into clothing of a certain size.  Whether it’s the fear that this weight loss thing is just a phase or the pre-conceived notion that only “skinny people” wear these sizes, shopping for clothes has proven to be a totally different experience for me.  While I’m pleased with how things look, and I’m definitely pleased to see single digit sizes, the whole thing just causes so much anxiety for me that it’s hard to enjoy the results I’ve worked so hard for.

How have other people gotten used to losing weight and needing clothes?  Does the anxiety end, or is it something we just need to work that much harder to overcome?

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Yes, I know.  Fashion is not a usual topic for me.  I prefer hiding my body under layers of denim, or thick dress pants.  However, when you have a twin sister that starts dressing cooler than you do, you find yourself in need of stepping it up.  Oh, and losing 17 pounds and having no clothes that fit doesn’t help either when it comes to hiding behind my usuals.  But that’s for another post altogether.

After trying on a pair of my sisters LC Lauren Conrad leggings from Kohl’s, I knew I had to have them.  I’ll admit, the fabric is a bit thin, and I’m still getting used to wearing something so form fitting, so I’m struggling a bit with being self-conscious about it.  However, with a long tunic-style top covering all the areas I want covered (butt, thighs) I could see these leggings become a staple in my weekend/going out wardrobe.  Oh, and it got the mom stamp of approval, instead of a “hmmm, I don’t know about those.”  🙂

On Saturday, I got 2 pairs for only $9.99 each.  Online they are about $2 more, however, they are still a great deal.  While I have definitely been known to say that leggings should not be worn by people of “my size”,  the size of this particular pair is comfortable for those of us with larger lower bodies; most form-fitting items like this only serve to remind me of my big hips and thighs, but these do a pretty good job covering without making you feel like you’re totally exposed.  I’ve paired mine with a mock layer top very similar to this one.  The length of the top really seems to help balance it out.

While I’m certainly no shopping expert, these seemed like a pretty great deal, and are super comfortable to wear.  Anyone else find a great pair of leggings recently?  What do you pair yours with?

I wouldn’t say I’m particularly brand loyal when it comes to face wash.  In fact, over the course of these few years I’ve been writing, I’ve probably reviewed about 3-4 different facial cleansers.  All of them have worked great, and for that reason, I haven’t seen the need to stick with just one product.

I received a coupon for L’Oreal Go 360 Clean face wash, and decided to give it a try.  The commercial actually caught my attention with the little scrubber.  After reading about how wash cloths can hang onto a lot of bacteria, I’ve been looking for ways to wash without using one.  Sure, washing with just your hands is fine, but I always feel like I’m not quite doing a great job.

The Scrublet, as it is called, pops right out of the bottle for easy access and storage.  The Scrublet has a nice feel, with soft “bristles” for lack of a better word that are flexible and not too rough on your face.  I’m doing a poor job explaining them, but they’re like bendy little things that stick out of the disk.  Just look at the picture, lol!

The wash itself is gel based, which I haven’t used in awhile.  One small drop on the Scrublet works up an incredible lather.  And let’s face it, it’s fun to use.  Makes me feel like I’m getting a spa treatment each time I use it, which I think is the whole appeal to females like me.  The scent of the wash is a bit strange to me, but is apparently supposed to smell like naranji, orange flower, and mint.  I wouldn’t say I catch all of those, but it does smell clean and not too “medicine like.”

After using the disk and the wash, my face does feel noticeably smoother.  I haven’t had too many problems with breakouts yet since using, so I’ll consider that a success.  The only issue I am struggling with is some dryness, however, that could be attributed to weather changes as well.

For around $7 a bottle, I’m anxious to see how long this lasts.  While it’s definitely a nice wash and the Scrublet is neat, I’m honestly not sure I’m willing to pay that much for a face wash that works similarly to other ones I’ve used.  I have some concerns about the Scrublet being clean after so many uses, but I’m sure if I soak it in hot water once a week or so, that should take care of it!  Overall, it’s  a great product with great benefits; just not sure the cost is justified at this point in time.


Since I’m WAY too lazy to upload all of these photos to Facebook (actually, I never turn my home computer on long enough to do that) I figured I’d share them through my blog.

We went to Bermuda after our wedding for a 7 day cruise with Celebrity!  I’m wishing I was still on the ship!

Enjoy!
Click here to view photos

Can your skin gets used to certain products?  Although most will argue that it can’t, I’m not sure I necessarily agree.  I spent a lot of time raving about Clearasil’s facewash before our wedding.  After going through 2 bottles of it, I thought maybe it was time to try something new.  I had a coupon for Biore, which is honestly what drove my purchase of the Biore Blemish Fighting Ice Cleanser.  That, and it’s warm in our house without AC, so I thought the “ice” part would be refreshing 🙂

Ice, Ice, Baby

So far, so good.  But maybe that goes back to my belief that switching it up product wise always has a positive impact on your face for a short time. I’ve been using the cleanser for about 2 months now, and I’m pretty pleased that I haven’t had any major breakouts during the times I usually would.  The product uses salicylic acid, which I learned a long time ago I need to use daily, as well as lavendar and eucalyptus to soften the blow of a strong cleanser.  In the past, I had to move away from salicylic acid cleansers because they were too harsh on my face. However, cleansers without it didn’t work very well for me.  This is a great combination of power and softness.

While I can’t see that I necessarily feel as refreshed as the “ice” description had me hoping I would in this heat, the product does what it promises.  And right now, that’s good enough for me!

Here’s a confession:  I’ve never had my hair or makeup done before.  Yes, it’s true.  At the tender age of 26, I’d never gone to a salon to have hair or makeup done for an event.  So, needless to say, choosing someone to take care of this on one of the most photographed days of my life was a big deal.  However, I’m happy to say I chose the best two ladies in the business!

I found My Cinderella’s Dream where else but TheKnot.com.  I got in touch with Mari who I liked right off the bat.  She provided all the information I needed in a timely fashion to make the best decision possible.  At the time, I wasn’t sure about makeup, and Mari never pressured me to add this as a service, which I appreciated.  Her prices were fair, and she wasn’t going to charge me a fee to come to The Madison Hotel to help us out!  Furthermore, her son went to Susquehanna, so it was pretty much a match made in heaven!

Getting my hair done and my makeup touched up!

I had my bridal trial with Mari in December.  She was so wonderful and patient with me.  I had just switched jobs, so I ended up having to reschedule my trial and had to leave early the day she came to get back to work, but Mari got the job done quickly, efficiently, and exactly how I imagined it!  By this time, I had decided to go with makeup, so I scheduled a makeup trial with her partner, Rita.  Rita did a great job listening to my fears that my makeup would look too heavy.  We had a great trial, and even later when I emailed Mari to ask if the eyes could be a bit lighter day of, Mari and Rita understood and were very accommodating.

The day of the wedding, we had a blast getting hair and makeup done!  I had booked a conference room at the hotel so we’d have lots of room.  Mari and Rita went right to work at 6:30 and we were all camera ready by around 9:15!  There were 8 of us that needed hair done, and I was the only one that had makeup.  I couldn’t believe how quick they worked!  All of my girls were very pleased with how things came out.  My mom even remarked that she’d never seen someone take a picture of a hairstyle and replicate it on someone’s hair.  All of my bridesmaids got compliments on how great their hair looked-even from the guys, who hardly notice that stuff!  Finally, everyone kept remarking on how natural my makeup looked, which was exactly what I had wanted!

Some great handiwork!

Mari and Rita and truly a dream to work with.  From the trial to the wedding day, I couldn’t have asked for a better group of ladies to help me and my girls look fantastic on my wedding day.  Thanks so much, Mari and Rita!

Just ask my sister:  I’m a stickler when it comes to safe sun practices.  Don’t get me wrong:  I know that being tan makes people feel beaufiul, and I myself still get burned every now and then if I’m not careful (case in point:  falling asleep on the beach in Bermuda).  But, with all the research out there these days about skin cancer and how tanning can contribute to that, you’re being foolish NOT to put sunscreen on just because you’re afraid of being pale.

Pretty on the outside, but can wreak havoc on your insides!

About 90% of nonmelanoma cancers and 65% of melanoma cancers stem from the sun.  The sun’s UV rays wreak havoc on your DNA, even through getting a tan.  Those are staggering statistics to me, and scare me much more than not having a tan.

But how do you protect yourself?  Sometimes even when I slather on sunscreen, I still get burned.  WebMD has a helpful video regarding some simple sunscreen tips.  Some additional tips:

1.)  Pick the right SPF. Here’s a no-brainer:  the higher the SPF, the more protection against UVB rays.  However, just as dangerous, if not more dangerous are UVA rays, which do not cause reddening or pain like UVB rays cause.  A sunblock with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide can provide the most effective coverage.  Look for a solution that indicates it is for broad-spectrum coverage, which will protect against both harmful rays.

2.)  Reapply! Don’t be fooled-just because you put suncscreen on in the morning doesn’t mean you’re safe for the rest of the day.  I’ve read differing things about this, but I typically try to put sunscreen on 15-30 minutes before exposure and then again every 1-2 hours in the sun.  I feel paranoid doing it so often, but it’s been those times that I’ve diligently reapplied that I have not gotten burned.

3.)  Plan accordingly. The suns rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.  Yes, I know, that’s half your beach day.  If you’re planning on being outside for the whole day, try to seek shade when you notice your shadow is shorter than you are.

4.)  Visit your Dermatologist regularly. Skin cancer is very treatable when caught early.  Examine yourself regularly for any unusual spots. Regardless, make sure you book a yearly appointment with your dermatologist so he/she can check you thoroughly for any skin issues.

You can still have fun in the summer months, just make sure you’re careful!  Enjoy!

So Many Products...So Little Time

Time to switch it up for Features Friday.  I have to admit, as we get closer to the wedding, the less time I spend looking at Web sites about weddings.  (Between you, my readers, and me, I’m kind of sick of thinking about the wedding!)  So, it’s time to pay homage to my secret weapons:  the beauty products, workout plans, planning tools, foods, etc. that have kept me sane during this past year.  But, there’s too many for one post.  So let’s start with beauty.  Without further ado…

Clearasil Stay Clear Daily Face Wash: I tested this product back in October and haven’t looked back!  I’m not saying I don’t still get breakouts during the usual times, but it definitely helps keep my face clear in between!

Neutrogena 2-in-1 Fight and Fade Gel: I can’t say enough good things about this product.  I’ve never used something that seems to work so quickly! Although I do think my skin is starting to get a bit immune to it (if that’s even possible) it still helps me stay worry free about major breakout issues on wedding day.

Mary Kay Medium Coverage Foundation: Best foundation I’ve ever used.  More expensive than I’d like to pay, but as far as offering the best coverage without making my face too cakey, this foundation wins!  I always feel like a little goes a long way, providing smooth coverage and taking care of redness and acne scarring. Good stuff.

Hypnotic Poison: I’m sure I’ve written about this before, but I have a major love affair with this perfume.  It reminds me of summers in DC when Jasmine High got me hooked on it….love it.  I can assure you I’ll be wearing it on my wedding day!

Crest Whitening Expressions: Another product that costs more than it should, but I can’t get enough of the Cinnamon and Vanilla flavors of this toothpaste.  They seriously leave my teeth feeling free and minty for hours. And I’m pretty obsessed with my teeth…

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub: I don’t really think this is meant to be used the way I use it, but I exfoliate every Wednesday and Sunday, and this provides a gentle exfoliation and leaves my skin unbelievably smooth.

That about wraps it up for my opinion of the best of the best.  Fellow brides and former brides, what are your thoughts?  What helped you stay beautiful for the big day and beyond?

Vegetable goodness for your face!

As you’ve probably noticed from the products I do review, my skin is extremely important to me.  I’ve battled acne and acne scarring all my life, and continue to fight the battle despite being 25 years old.  (Shouldn’t it have gone away by now??)  A friend told me about the Yes to Carrots/Yes to Tomatoes brands, and a few months ago I decided to give the night cream a shot.

I first bought this product from Target around November.  Target is really the only retail location I can ever find them-I believe they sell exclusively to Target stores.  Since I bought this in the dead of winter, I was looking for something that would keep my skin moisturized at night without causing my pores to be too clogged.  C Through the Night promised to “boost the moisture level of the skin by promoting moisture retention.”  C Through The Night has organic carrot juice, cucumber juice, dead sea minerals, vitamin c, vitamin A, and pomegranate peel to protect the skin from free radicals.  It also has Ginkgo Bilboa Extract to detoxify and improve skin circulation.

One thing you should know about me is that I’m not much of an ingredient reader-that’s something I really have to convince myself to do more often when it comes to products for my skin.  In fact, I didn’t even realize C Through The Night had all that good stuff in it until I did some searching today for it.  Nonetheless, C Through The Night is a thick cream that actually goes on smooth and light.  I don’t feel like it takes awhile to dry, so I’m not afraid to put it on and then go right to sleep.

I do think that through the course of my use of the product my skin has improved greatly, having less breakouts and feeling a lot smoother overall.  I just bought my second bottle, so hopefully I’ll continue to see improvement!

Anyone else use the full product line?  Any benefit to using the face wash along with the night cream?  Better results?

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