Stitch Fix Part 3: My Summer Fix

I just got my third Stitch Fix in the mail today, just in time for summer! I actually postponed the fix a month from the original interval I set; I figured I had enough spring/transition items and wanted a true summer fix. Like I mentioned before, I really hate shopping (and shopping for giantesses is pretty slim pickings in Japan) so this Stitch Fix box was a really terrific surprise (especially hot on the heels of my birthday — happy birthday to me!). So … how was my hot summer fix? Did I keep all the things? Keep reading to find out! Continue reading “Stitch Fix Part 3: My Summer Fix”

Recommending Products and Tourist Shopping: the Conundrum

I am lucky to have houseguests right now; two family members are visiting us here in Japan from the U.S. One has been here before, and one has not. For any of you who have hosted houseguests from another city (probably everyone?), you know what it’s like to try and remember what it’s like to be new in your city so you can show your guests the best it has to offer in the limited amount of time they have. This was a truism in Alaska, and it definitely is here in Japan. Recommending products, when friends ask, reminds me a lot of this process.

Does this seem weird? Maybe. It’s true though. When I have guests come to town, I try and tailor activity ideas to not just what I consider the “best” my home has to offer, but to their interests and abilities. Also, I know how expensive travel can get, and I always try hard to not break the bank on the activities and restaurants we do. Recommending products is much the same. I try hard to evaluate the friend asking’s lifestyle and skin type, how comfortable they are wearing cosmetics if it’s a makeup question, and also price. Continue reading “Recommending Products and Tourist Shopping: the Conundrum”

Sports Skincare, Part One: Protecting Your Skin

I am a very fair person–a ginger, the fairest of them all (ha!) … as in, if I spend more than about a half hour outdoors, even with sunblock, my skin can start feeling about a half size too small. While this is unfortunate in and of itself, I enjoy being outdoors as much as the next person, and I also enjoy outdoor sports. Specifically, endurance sports and water sports–which are pretty much the antichrist for ginger nuts like me. Being a person that is also quite vain and likes not looking like grandpa’s busted old leather suitcase, I have learned a lot over the years on sports skincare: how to balance, as best as possible anyway, having an active life outdoors with not looking like Magda.

sports skincare
Meet Magda. This makes me want to watch There’s Something About Mary Again

Continue reading “Sports Skincare, Part One: Protecting Your Skin”

Spring Wardrobe Refresh, or Stitch Fix, part deux: my stylist is the best and my spring wardrobe is ready to transition out of winter (and out of hobo)

Today was a real shit show. My anxiety levels were over the top as adulting proved itself to be the overrated pile of garbage it often does. As there often is though, there was indeed a rainbow after the rain today, which came in the form of my (eagerly anticipated) second Stitch Fix. I was hoping my stylist, whom had already done a great job with box one, was going to transform me from craptastic hobo to stylish hobo in one fabulous capsule of five spring transition pieces. Hello new spring wardrobe!

Stitch Fix winter transition to spring
There she is! My second spring transitioning Stitch Fix!

Last month, I ended up keeping 3 out of five of my fixes. The two I sent back weren’t bad, they just didn’t fit my ‘if I don’t LOVE it it can’t stay’ ethos, courtesy of konmari.

While I’m sure you’ve heard of Stitch Fix, the subscription box of stylist-curated clothing and accessories, you may be wondering what actually gets sent your way, and how invested the stylists are in getting you down pat.  Well, in my experience, they are very organized and, utilizing your input and feedback from their site along with a Pinterest board link if you have one, they send five items at your preferred interval.

Here’s what I got in my second box, my spring wardrobe box (after one box sent, with feedback provided by me on every item sent previously).

Indianan Graphic Print Mixed Material Tee
Item one, a mixed material tee from Indianan.
Stitch Fix Winter transition into spring wardrobe
Item 2: Verse Dilis Dress
Stitch Fix Winter transition to spring wardrobe
Item 3: Jensine Split Neck Blouse, made in the USA!

 

Stitch Fix Accessories
Item 4: Gold feather pendant necklace from Romolo
Stitch Fix shorts spring wardrobe
Item 5: Dear John cuffed denim shorts

Like before, my Stitch Fix stylist sent a note (nicely asking how my trip to Cambodia went as I had asked for travel-friendly pieces for my first fix) along with cards showing different outfit ideas for each of the pieces. I love these, as I am fashion-challenged.

I was excited when I looked at the sneak peeks in the app once I got my shipping notice. I was a little concerned about a. the print on the split neck blouse and b. how the denim shorts were going to fit in the booty. Butt fit is a crucial thing with denim as we all know, and after searching the interwebs and striking out on a butt pic of these shorts, I was a bit concerned.

I try on all the things

Fret not though, everything in this fix fit great. The split neck blouse was much better in person, and it was just enough outside my comfort zone to be fun and fresh (part of the reason to sign up for Stitch Fix, right?).

On my particular booty, these shorts are cute but they aren’t life changing, if you know what I mean. The length and color are cute and wearable. They are a good level of coverage for a spring wardrobe (versus the short shorts I see in the summer here). For reference, I’m 5’8″ish and wear a 6 in Express jeans. My stylist sent these in a size 28 and they fit fine, no weird bagginess or tight spots anywhere.

My Stitch Fix stylist sent a piece of jewelry this time too, a gold toned feather pendant. The chain is very delicate and feminine, and the length is perfect with each of the tops and dress. I’m not always a big accessory person (remember, I’m also hopelessly unstylish), but I really love this pendant. Very nice addition to my new little spring wardrobe.

spring wardrobe choices from stitch fix
Mixed material tee with the pendant

Note that my shoulders do look rather broad here, it’s not really the shirt’s fault, my shoulders are just like that. Beeeeeefcaaaaaake.

All of the tops and the dress she sent are not clingy. They are figure forgiving, without being baggy, shapeless or unflattering. They’re all long enough for my ridiculously-long torso, and all show off my shoulders, which is a feature I enjoy about my bod.

The Verse dress is a very wearable length and the arm holes adequately cover a bra–no gaping! The top is made of a double layer of the dress fabric, and the skirt is lined with a silky separate layer, which should eliminate the need for extra layers when it’s hot out.

Stitch Fix spring wardrobe sundress
Here’s the dress with a belt.

The dress doesn’t hug the body at all, so I tried it belted as well. I don’t have much of a waist so I don’t typically wear belts, but I thought it looked cute.

stitch fix spring wardrobe
Booty coverage! Hurrah!

Both tops dipped in the back for a good amount of butt coverage, which is nice as well when you are looooong as your back stays covered too, even when you sit or stretch or do whatever you need doing when you don’t want your bizness showing.

My Conclusion on Stitch Fix #2, Spring Wardrobe Edition

Loved everything, kept everything. You get 25% off everything if you keep it all, which can put you in a conundrum if four things are rad and one is meh, because the fifth thing is often freeish if you buy the whole box. But, this wasn’t a problem with my spring wardrobe Stitch Fix. I am very excited to wear everything. And hopefully NOT look like a hobo.

If you’re interested in trying out Stitch Fix, please consider subscribing through my referral code. I’m not an affiliate in any way with Stitch Fix, and using this code won’t cost you anything; it just credits my SF account with a nice little bonus if you sign up.

DIY Turmeric Mask: I Risk Turning My Face Simpsons Yellow In Search Of Reduced Inflammation and Because Vain

Last night I risked having to public today with a complexion akin Marge Simpson using a DIY turmeric mask I read about on Instagram. Sounds smart, right?

Before you label me a vain fool (not that I claim otherwise), the recipe for the mask came from an Instagrammer I follow who has impeccable taste and beautiful skin (and happens to create some of the most beautiful flat lays in all of Instagramdom). She had glowing reviews (literally, her skin was glowing), as did her sister whom she got the recipe from.

So now that’s squared away, you may be wondering what the recipe is. You can check her IG for the OG recipe, but here’s what I did. I did essentially the same recipe, except I reduced the quantity in case, well, I stained everything yellow and didn’t want a lot of evidence left over.

DIY Turmeric Mask

3 teaspoons milk (I used whole)

2 teaspoons flour

1/2 teaspoon (ish) turmeric powder

1/2 teaspoon (ish) raw honey

Whisk together, and apply in a thin layer using a brush (remember that turmeric stains like a bitch! Wear dark clothing, and be careful not to slop it around). If you apply too thick a layer, it could potentially stain your face (!!).

Voila! The finished concoction.

Here’s my little bowl o’ mask. Now came the time to apply. I applied a thin layer, per the instructions. It smells like, wait for it, turmeric. Which triggers some bittersweet memories for me, but I digress.

The original recipe says to let the mask sit for 20 minutes. Which was my full intent. Until I rinsed my little glam glow mask brush out and saw this:

OMG! Is it an omen?

My brush was stained Simpsons yellow! My brain wheels started turning and I started to sweat a bit, regretting my DIY decision almost immediately. “I regret everything!”

I decided to stop short of the twenty minute mark, instead washing off the mask once it had dried completely. Thanks I’m guessing to the flour, it dried very hard and required a washcloth to remove (built-in exfoliation, so much value!).

I am so fucking adorable.

When I got it washed off, I inspected my skin. I had some rogue evil cystic acne spots that had sprouted right in the middle of my cheek on one side, and they were quite red (likely from the washcloth). The rest of my skin did seem very bright and, thankfully, NOT yellow.

I did my first toner swipe with a cotton, like always after a wash off mask (usually I use just my fingers to pat them in but after a wash off mask I like to make sure all of the bits are indeed washed away).

I was a little alarmed … my face was not yellow BUT …

!! WTF !!

It took four rounds with different toners and cotton before I was satisfied I was not going to morph into an Oompa Loompa overnight because of residual turmeric on my face. In hindsight, I think I should have either swiped with micellar water or a done a real cleanse afterwards to make sure I had gotten everything cleaned up.

Results

I did the rest of my skincare routine after the mask. My face looked a bit glowier perhaps, and my active acne spots were, as previously mentioned, quite angry looking.

Today, my skin looked, apart from the acne spots … dare I say, good. It really was brighter. And the acne spots had calmed their asses down and were easily coverable by concealer (not the case the morning prior, when they were in full-on rage mode). AND most important: I was NOT yellow!

Will I do it again? Yes. Probably tonight. Even cutting the original recipe down I still have a good bit left in the bowl (which I covered and refrigerated because milk). I’m excited to see if my skin condition improves more with another treatment.

Why Turmeric?

So … what’s the point of this DIY turmeric mask? Well, to briefly cover each of the ingredients:

Turmeric: Anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial properties, and an anti-oxidant. AKA excellent for acne prone people like me.

Honey: OMG what can’t honey do? Anti-bacterial, moisturizing, anti-oxidant, soothing and clarifying.

Milk: exfoliating (hello, lactic acid), soothing, and moisturizing.

So, what do you think? Would you try a DIY turmeric mask? If you’ve tried this or another DIY mask, let me know in the comments!