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Slay At The Gym

Slay At The Gym With The Right Plus Size Workout Gear For Your Curves

At The Gym With The Right Plus Size Workout Gear

 

What you choose to wear to the gym

What you choose to wear to the gym might seem like a small decision, but it can have a big effect on your workout. In a study by Northwestern University, researchers found that when people wore lab coats, they performed better at tasks requiring attention. One of the study authors claimed that workout plus size clothing could have a similar effect because what you wear influences you. Plus size active wear can make you feel more active and motivate you to unleash your prowess on the track or treadmill. If you’re plus size, you’ll know how difficult it can be to find the right workout gear. Here are some tips to locate the perfect pieces so that you can get on with what’s really important – working up a sweat and releasing those endorphin’s.

Choose Spandex Over Cotton 

You want to wear fabrics that will make your skin breathe by keeping sweat off your skin, so spandex, polyester, and lycra are great choices. Cotton should be avoided because even though it feels comfortable, it absorbs sweat, can irritate your skin, and can cause chafing to your curve body.

Avoid Anything Baggy

Regular exercise is beneficial for your health but also your mind.  Keeping fit boosts your mood and reduces stress. Don’t let a lack of body confidence cause a drop in your mood and kill those endorphins before they can even do their job.  One of the biggest clothing mistakes women who don’t feel body confident make is to choose loose clothing. This is especially a bad idea when choosing active wear. Baggy clothing can get in the way when you’re working out and make your exercise routine difficult or uncomfortable. It can also cause you to become clumsy, which can lead to injuries. You want to choose clothing that follows the natural shape of your body without being too clingy, such as stretchy leggings.

Get The Right Support

It’s important to feel comfortable so choose a sports bra that’s right for your breast size and the type of workout you’re going to do. For instance, a low-impact sports bra would be great for exercise such as walking, while high-impact bras are suitable for more intense workouts. If you have a large upper body, your bra should have thicker straps so that they won’t dig into your skin.

Test It Out

You should test out your workout gear before purchasing it to be sure that it not only looks great and makes you feel confident, but also enables your body to move around comfortably. For instance, your short-sleeved top should not be too restrictive in the shoulder and armpit area – you should be able to lift and move your arms around easily. Try do some lunges or stretches when trying on workout gear to be sure it doesn’t get in the way of your workout.

Dressing properly for the gym isn’t just about looking stylish, but also protecting yourself against injuries and being able to exercise freely and comfortably, so make sure you choose the right plus size workout gear that shows your beautiful body some love.

For Trendy Plus Size Clothing www.voluptuousclothing.com

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Cozy Up In Our Sweater Cardigan

The Winter Magic Sweater

Do you ever want to be fashionable, trendy, warm & cute all at the same time?   When buying a great fashionable piece this winter that’s exactly what you should be considering.
Yess! A great sweater should be all that, and more!

When looking for a sweater, look for a sweater that can be worn with almost anything not just your favorite pair of jeans. Buy a sweater that’s able to magically transform you into either a casual, dressy or a super chic dresser! This winter we are featuring our comfy, versatile adaptable sweater, it can be worn as a tunic sweater, a sweater dress, cardigan or just a fashionable duster coat.

Learning how to buy a staple piece is a great way to get the most value for your dollar. This season considers the many wears you can get out of our comfortable versatile sweater, also the many seasons you can wear it through is endless.

Lastly, think about how fashionable and on-trend you will look each time you change up or add your personality to our perfect versatile comfortable sweater.

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27 Things You Need To Do Before Summer Is Over

1. Eat something fried, delicious, and awful for you at a local fair.

2. Get drunk in the cheap seats at a baseball game.

3. Do one touristy thing in your city/town that you’ve never done before.

4. Turn off your phone and go read in a park.

5. Or better yet, at the beach.

6. Ice cream No. 1 after lunch.

7. Ice cream No. 2 after dinner.

8. Also important: beach ice cream (or sherbet, if the spirit moves you).

9. Go for a night hike.

10. Stargaze.

11. Wake up early and get all the best stuff at the farmer’s market.

12. Make lemonade from scratch.

13. Have a picnic in the park.

14. Or just a “picnic.”

15. Have your all-white outfit moment.

16. Get on a boat

17. Build a fire and make s’mores.

18. Go to an outdoor movie.

19. Or an outdoor concert.

20. Walk somewhere you usually would have driven or taken public transit to.

21. Invite friends over, make water balloons, and see what happens.

22. Make grilled pizza.

23. EAT ALL OF THE BARBECUE.

24. BOOZY WATERMELON

25. In the event of a thunderstorm, try to capture the perfect lightning bolt photo.

26. Jump off something tall into a body of water.

27. Wear jorts. ( Jean Shorts)

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10 Reasons Women Need Their Girlfriends

Every woman has done it, and every woman has had it done to her—the minute you start a new relationship, your girlfriends are pushed to the back burner. But no matter how wonderful the man, it’s unlikely he’ll ever replace that much-needed time with friends, whether it’s bonding over the season finale of The Bacheloretteor a heart-to-heart over coffee. After all, says Carmen Renee Berry, MSW, coauthor of Girlfriends: Invisible Bonds, Enduring Ties, women (much like men) speak their own language. But more than that, our girlfriends are the family we choose for ourselves. Below, a few reasons—some silly, some serious—why we’ll always need one another.

 

1. Shopping
If you want to share the experience of shopping with someone, says Berry, rather than have someone follow you around, bring a girlfriend. Plus, no matter how wonderful your partner is, he will never grasp why the choice between red alligator and red patent leather pumps is oh-so-important.

2. Group Therapy
Whatever issue you’re facing (relationship, work, general breakdown), there’s no better fix than the unique perspectives of your friends. Plus, Berry says, “You don’t have to explain much for a group of girlfriends to know exactly what you mean.”

3. Bethenny Getting Married—or Any Reality TV Show
No matter how hard we try to change their minds, men have long deemed our guilty pleasure intolerable. But that’s OK. Your man doesn’t have to have all the same interests as you. Instead, use it as the perfect excuse to get together with your friends on a regular basis.

4. Girls Night Out (or In)
Whatever the evening’s events, sometimes even just the pre-party can ignite the insightful, rejuvenating conversation you didn’t even know you longed for. Plus, just being in the presence of a group of people who love, support and complement you can give you a sense of playful freedom, often bringing out a side of you that you forgot was there.

5. Venting
Boys will be boys, and sometimes their can’t-read-your-mind responses prompt the need to commiserate. On the other hand, sometimes they deserve a round of applause—and nothing serves as a better reminder of how lucky in love you are than a sigh from your girlfriends as you recap his most recent romantic gesture.

6. Sex and Body Talk
You may have a question your boyfriend or husband wouldn’t know the answer to, Berry explains. Not to mention, somewhere deep inside, you want your love interest to continue seeing you as the goddess he did when you first met, which might make discussing your most recent yeast infection a bad idea.

7. Dance Therapy
When there’s no holding back, dancing takes on a whole new realm of possibilities. And, while there are plenty of perks to getting down with a group of super-fun guys, there’s nothing like getting your groove on with ladies who won’t care how sweaty you’ve gotten by the end of the night.

8. For the Truth…When Nobody Else Will Give It to You
Ultimately you want friends who make you feel good about yourself, but it’s nice to be able to ask a question and receive an honest response—whether it’s regarding those unflattering low-rise pants or that boy who will never fit in with your family. But Berry warns, “The point of constructive criticism is to improve the life of your girlfriend—not to be a ruse for trying to make her change.”

9. Because They Can Relate To You
You need people who, for better or worse, have been through what you’ve been through. After all, wisdom derives from experience. But either way, ladies tend to listen, explains Berry, while men feel the need to solve a problem. When her garbage disposal broke, Berry says, “My girlfriend listened while I lamented, and I felt much better; my male friend showed up at my door with a new garbage disposal, which he promptly installed.”

10. To Be a Better Girlfriend
It’s important to do things separately—whether vacations, dinners, etc.—because you’ll be a better woman, girlfriend or wife for it. A woman with her own network of friends will naturally be less codependent on her partner, which helps nurture a positive relationship. Plus, it’s unrealistic to expect to get everything you need from one person all the time, explains Berry.

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10 Things To Stop Doing If You Want To Love Your Body

I run my hands against the different fabrics in my closet. This is my ten-pounds ago blouse. I fit into it just last summer, but today it is snug and unflattering. And here is my 20-pounds ago dress. Even when I fit into this beautiful thing, I felt fat and unattractive. Up here are my jeans that span across six different sizes, including my 50-pounds-lighter-pants.

My closet is a reflection of my life-long battle with my weight. Reluctant to get rid of old sizes, I allow my guilt to set in because I can no longer fit into them. With a dedicated focus on my health, I hope that one day soon I will return to these smaller size clothes.

This was a journal entry from a year ago.

For the past 25 years, I’ve struggled with weight. But if we’re being honest, weight was never the issue. My real problem was lack of self-acceptance.

If we hate any part of ourselves, then nothing is ever good enough. No matter what number I was on the scale, whether my chest bones were poking out or whether I had so many rolls on my body I couldn’t fit into a public seat comfortably, the issue was never the weight.

But it was much easier to blame my body than to take responsibility for my own insecurities and examine my lack of self-worth. The weight roller-coaster was a reflection of my imbalanced thoughts. If I felt unworthy and unloved, my body would turn into my enemy.

No matter my weight, my doctor would always tell me I was healthy and fit. But in my mind, well,that was where the real battle was. When you hate any part of yourself, it doesn’t matter what others say about you. You won’t believe them until you feel it for yourself.

For decades, I used my body as a personal punching bag, abusing it with my thoughts. I’d say things like:

  • The reason you didn’t make the dance team is because of your size.
  • He didn’t call you back because of your thunder thighs.
  • You aren’t more successful because the size of your body.
  • You won’t get what you want because the way you look.

Self-shame, ridicule and humiliation were my everyday habits. I would put my happiness into achieving a certain body weight. And until that happened, I would be doomed to sit on the sidelines of life, not getting what the pretty, thin and beautiful did.

This was the old me. The one who thought all of the problems in her life were because of her body. Little did I know at the time that all of the problems in my life weren’t problems at all, but actually pathways.

Today, my life is much different. I look in the mirror and say compassionate, kind things to myself. I enjoy my food and no longer fear the calories, nor do I obsessively count them. I look forward to going shopping again, because I like the way my clothes fit. I no longer avoid mirrors or eye contact. The radical shift? Self-acceptance and self-love.

Several months ago, I made it my full-time mission to look at the areas of my life that weren’t going well. The one focus was my body and learning how to accept it.

Self-love is about acceptance and seeing yourself as the gift you are. Today, I am in love with myself because I respect my body. I see my body as a tool and teammate. My body helps me live my full potential. I listen to it and honor what it needs.

If you are struggling to love yourself or your body, you can let go of certain things in order to reach the love you desire. Here are 10 things to stop doing today if you want to truly accept and love your body (and, well, all of yourself).

1. Stop blaming your body for the bad things in your life.

It’s not your body’s fault. Instead say, “Thank you, body, for being with me on this journey.”

2. Stop letting a look or comment from someone else determine how you feel about yourself.

That person probably wasn’t judging you. You are judging yourself. Instead say, “Self, I forgive you. I send you love.”

3. Stop thinking you aren’t in the body you are supposed to have.

You are in the best body for you. Let your body be your teacher and guide you to more love.

4. Stop letting the number on the scale or your pant size define you.

You are more than any number. What matters most is how you feel, not how you look.

5. Stop judging yourself by what you can’t do and instead celebrate what you can.

Don’t be so hard on yourself. The limitation is in your mind. Start saying “I can” and watch how your life transforms.

6. Stop being mean to yourself when you look in the mirror.

You are more beautiful than you can truly see.

7. Stop joining in when your friends compare and trash their own bodies.

You hurt yourself when you bash yourself with others. Instead, celebrate your natural beauty and each other’s successes.

8. Stop thinking your looks are more important than how you feel.

Your health is not determined by your size. Focus on feeling good and everything returns to balance naturally.

9. Stop waiting to reach your goal to enjoy your body.

Your life is happening now. You can choose to hate yourself or love yourself. Choose love.

10. Stop thinking you don’t matter because of the size your body.

Life is far too hard as it is without you being at war with yourself. When we get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.

Enjoy the miracle that is you.

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13 Pro Secrets to Sweat-Proofing Your Summer Makeup

Summer is full of wonderful things — but melting makeup, smeared eyeliner, and super-sticky lipstick are not among them. We asked top makeup artists to spill their best tips for keeping makeup looking fresh and pretty, even when the weather is working against you.

1. Start with the proper base.

The way you care for your skin is just as important as the makeup you apply to it. “Use an oil-free moisturizer in the morning,” says celebrity makeup artist Fiona Stiles, adding that you should opt for an oil-free foundation formula to match. If you aren’t sure what type of moisturizer works best for your skin type, use our dermatologist-advised guide.

2. Invest in a primer.

You won’t regret the few seconds it takes to apply a primer, which goes on after moisturizer but before face makeup. “Primers are definitely the way to go in summer,” says New York City-based makeup artist Ashunta Sheriff. “They don’t feel at all like a heavy, additional layer, and they really help hold makeup in place.”

3. Bronze believably.

“Bronzer makes your eyes look brighter, your teeth whiter — everyone looks better with a little warmth added to their skin,” says New York City-based makeup artist Troy Surratt. To keep the results looking fresh and natural, he recommends applying bronzer just to the high points of your face, where the sun naturally hits you: forehead, cheekbones, chin, and nose. (Covering every nook and cranny is what gives you that fake, baked look.) Powder bronzers are the easiest to apply; look for one with varying shades — they’ll blend together for the most authentic-looking results. You can also sweep a little bronzer onto your neck and earlobes, especially if you have short hair or are wearing a pony­tail.

4. Keep things light.

If you want to keep your makeup from creasing and caking, say it with us: Less is more. “If you can, just use a tinted moisturizer and a concealer where you need it,” says Stiles. “Makeup likes to move around when it’s hot, so the best way to avoid that is to wear less of it.”

5. Skip the shimmer.

Everyone loves a nice, dewy glow, but there’s a big difference between a healthy radiance and an over-the-top shine. “Avoid cream foundations or anything too luminous, as the humidity will make you extra shiny and sweaty-looking if you have too much sparkle on your skin,” warns Stiles.

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6. Go sheer.

“Rich, deep colors have their place, but they can look heavy in summer,” says Surratt. To lighten up your look, switch to sheer versions of your go-to lip and eye colors. Use a lipliner pre-application if you need extra definition, but go for a nude shade to keep that carefree feeling, or try “invisible” lipliner, which deposits a clear, waxy film to stop color from bleeding. Bonus: Because sheer colors are subtler, you almost can’t go overboard.

7. Give your eye shadow staying power.

For longer-lasting shadow, avoid using eye cream on your lids (it can break down makeup), and smooth on an eye primer instead. “It will minimize creasing and create a base for the shadow to cling to so it lasts longer,” says Seattle-based makeup artist Sharona Schweitzer. For the ultimate in all-day wearability, layer a powder over a cream. Doubling up works for liner, too. “Apply your regular pencil or cream liner, then use a small angled brush to press dark shadow over the liner to set it for longer wear,” says Schweitzer.

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8. Ditch the powder blush.

Blush adds balance and healthiness to any look, but if you’re still using the same powdery formula, your flush might be getting cake-y faster than it takes to get to work in the morning. “Stains are great for longevity in hot weather,” says Stiles. “Use a gel or blush stain, then blend a touch of a cream blush on top of it.” Want to increase its wear? Dust a light, invisible setting powder overtop. Just be sure not to get too heavy-handed; you want to lock your look, not mattify it.

9. Play with vibrant colors.

Just as you’re probably more likely to wear a vivid top or carry a bright bag this season, now’s the perfect time to play up your makeup palette. Besides looking summery, “livelier colors brighten the face and bring a youthful glow to skin,” says Surratt. If you tend to stick with neutrals, experiment with just one area of your face. A punchy blush on the apples of the cheeks is a good place to start — you can follow our blush guide to find your perfect shade.

10. Stop shine and add glow.

A slick T-zone instantly telegraphs the message “I’m hot” — and we don’t mean sexy. To eliminate unsightly shine in seconds, nothing beats blotting papers. “They’re cheap and easy— you just press and go,” says Sheriff. If you need to perk up your makeup too, blot first, then follow up with a pressed powder with a hint of luminescence. “You want to eliminate shine, but you still want to look a little glow-y, especially in summer,” says Surratt.

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11. Swap out thick lipsticks.

Toss your heavy matte lipsticks for the summer and try the season’s simplest trend: stains. These long-lasting formulas offer sheer coverage that can be built up, making them super versatile. “Stains are lovely because you can always add a lip balm to add moisture without worrying about the color traveling,” notes Stiles. Try sweet pink or peach shades for a traditional summery look, or go bold with tangerine and grape colors for something more daring.

12. Wade into waterproof.

Love to swim? Don’t worry about getting raccoon eyes — there are lots of amazing long-wear beauty products out there these days. “Invest in a good waterproof mascara, or if you’re blonde, get your eyelashes tinted,” advises Stiles.

13. Keep prep items in your purse.

Never look oily in a photo again by staying prepared with purse-size products that are so perfect for travel. “Carrying blotting papers is a great way to whisk away the sweat and oil without piling on more product,” says Stiles.

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10 Places In Toronto You Should Take A First Date To During Summer

Going on first dates during the winter pretty much sucks. There are a lack of options when it comes to first date ideas. Dinner? Coffee? Anything that doesn’t involve standing out or walking around in the freezing cold?

Good thing it’s finally warm enough to have options, hurrah! If you’re into the whole dinner/drinks thing, at least now you can hit up a patio. If you’re feeling a more fun/adventurous date, we’ve got some first date ideas for you to try this summer. It’s time to come out of hibernation mode.

jays-game

1. Jays Game @ Rogers Centre

Whether your date is a sports fan or not, Jays games make for great first dates. Seats in the 500s are pretty affordable. Grab an overpriced beer and an overpriced hot dog and it’s basically a nice date!

CNE

2. The EX

The CNE doesn’t open until later on in the summer and as always, it only lasts two short weeks (tear, tear). Be sure not to miss it – it’s a worthy experience! Just make sure not to spend all your cash trying to win prizes from games – they will eat your money.

WDL

3. Canada’s Wonderland

A little more on the expensive side, unless you have season passes. If one of you has a season pass, you can even use the “bring-a-friend” discount. You can get to know each other in the never ending line-ups and break the ice by screaming in terror/excitement. Make sure your date’s a ride warrior, or it probably won’t be much fun for either of you. Wonderland opens May 3rd!

allan-gardens

4. Allan Gardens Conservatory

Allan Gardens is a gorgeous botanical garden and a major landmark in the city. It’s completely free to visit. You can enjoy the sights and smells of the exotic plants while getting to know your date and basking in the serenity. It’s open 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. daily, so you can grab some lunch or dinner afterwards.

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5. Distillery District

If you’re going to do the basic drinks date, you might as well take your date somewhere nice ‘n fancy – try the Mill St. Brewery. After that, you can take a walk around the district and take in the beautiful historical architecture. Don’t forget to check out the love lock installation.

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6. Picnic @ Toronto Islands

Take the ferry over to the Toronto Islands and have a cute ‘lil picnic. Either pack your own lunches or grab some takeout sandwiches from somewhere. Maybe you could even stay long enough to watch a romantic sunset over the skyline.

high-park

7. Picnic @ High Park

If you don’t feel like venturing out that far, have a picnic at High Park instead. Take a walk around and bask in the beautiful cherry blossoms – it’s best to visit in late April or early May to see them in full bloom. Even if you don’t get to catch the cherry blossoms, High Park is still a worthy place to visit for a first date. There’s even a free zoo!

beaches

8. The Beaches

The Beaches make for a really great first date place when it’s warm enough. If you’re looking for a place to eat or drink, grab some burgers at The Burger’s Priest or drinks at Breakwall BBQ. Hit up the beach afterwards and watch the incredible sunset.

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9. Summerlicious

Nothing says romance like delicious food. With the prix fixe menus, nice meals are a lot more affordable.

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10. The Docks Drive-In Movie Theatre

Regular movie dates are too basic – you can’t even talk to each other. Catch a flick under the stars at the drive-in and you can whisper all you want… Unless you’re the type of person who doesn’t like talking during movies. Either way, it’s an experience that’s different and unique. Try it!

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Chub Rub Be Gone: How To Prevent Inner-Thigh Chafing

Just in time for summer: 3 must-know tips (and my top product picks) to prevent the dreaded chub rub.

 

“Hey, can you come look at this? It’s killing me!”

I kicked my legs up in the air and spread them wide to give my husband full access to the horror between them. He confirmed it: I had developed, for the first time ever, the dreaded disease of the thick-thighed: CHUB RUB.

If you’ve ever dealt with inner-thigh chafing, then you understand the pain and embarrassment that comes along with it.

My thighs touch. There, I said it. In the age of the coveted thigh gap, mine smush together. For the most part, this is fine; but once the weather warms up, the problems begin.

When you combine sweat and friction together, you create chafing–a painful, burning rash. It takes forever for the spots to heal because it’s nearly impossible to keep your thighs from touching for the week or so it takes to clear up. Even worse: If left untreated, chub rub can lead to nasty yeast infections. Ain’t nobody got time for that! (Is that still funny?)

Over the past few summers, I have become quite adept at avoiding chafing, and now I am sharing that information with you. Just call me “The Chub Rub Whisperer” or something.

STOP MOISTURE BEFORE IT STARTS

To prevent chafing, you must first prevent moisture. Some women will put super-strength antiperspirant along the inner-thigh area, but I didn’t have much luck with that. I should have known, since super-strength antiperspirants don’t keep my pits from sweating either. What can I say? I am a disgusting, sweaty blob.

 I’ve had much better luck with body powders. My personal favorite is Lady Anti Monkey Butt powder. It’s pink; that’s how you know it’s for the ladies!

This pink powder is powerful and patented. (That alliteration was both accurate and necessary.) It has magical micro-particle polymers that glide over the skin and absorb sweat. The pink color is attributed to the addition of calamine–you know, that pink, chalky stuff you put on poisin oak and bug bites.

Lady Anti-Monkey Butt helps keep my thighs cool and dry for hours on end, but some women are turned off by the big monkey butt on the front. I don’t get it, but whatever. If you need something a little less obvious on your bathroom counter, Lush also has a lovely dusting powder called Silky Underwear–so sexy, so mature. It also comes in an inconspicuous bottle that won’t draw any attention to your ladybits’ issues.

UP THE SLIP

Sweat-absorbing powders won’t be enough to tackle Chub Rub if you are doing anything more than sitting at a desk, or in my case (a teacher during the summer) lying in bed all day watching reruns of CSI and Law and Order: SVU. If you are actually going to get out and move around–you know, exercise or walk to work or whatever–you are going to need to add a specific product to prevent chafing, the actual physical act of your thighs rubbing together as you move.

The holy grail of anti-chafing products is Body Glide. I’m sure it was originally formulated to keep marathon runners from getting blisters, but now anyone with chubby thighs can reap the benefits.

Body Glide is a waxy skin lubricant that resembles a stick of deodorant. You apply it to any nooks and crannies that might chafe, and it allows your thighs to glide across each other as opposed to rubbing and creating a crotch fire of epic proportions.

Like Anti-Monkey Butt Powder, Body Glide comes in a specially formulated “For Women” version, but the only difference I can see is the stupid pink top. Monkey butts I’m OK with, but patronizing me by changing the color of the lid–how dare you!

If you aren’t afraid to visit that sketchy “Family Planning” aisle at your local drugstore, you can also pick up Monistat Chafing Relief Powder-Gel. Me, personally? Since losing my periods (thanks, IUD!) and having no desire to buy condoms or pregnancy tests, I avoid that section of the store. I don’t want my ovaries to be reminded of their job and feel inclined to start working again. However, this Monistat product is theoretically the perfect combination between a moisture-absorbing powder and a friction-decreasing gel lubricant.

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CHANGE YOUR UNDIES

My number-one trick for avoiding chub rub: a good pair of fitted men’s boxer-briefs. Boxer-briefs are cotton, so they are super-breathable, and they fall at the perfect spot on your thighs to prevent the two from touching and rubbing.

I wear boxer-briefs under all of my dresses and skirts. Originally, I just stole my husband’s, but eventually I did invest in some of my own.

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6 Fun Summer Activities to Stay Fit

The gym is great, but I’ve personally always loved experience-based exercise more. I just feel much more engaged. With summer coming, it’s time to take advantage of the good weather and stay fit while having fun! Here are 6 fun summer activities to stay fit:

  1. Go Swimming! 
    • Race your friends in the pool.
    • Swimming is a full body workout, exercising your arms, legs, and torso
    • “The water keeps you cool, even as your heart gets a great workout. You’ll probably be able to keep yourself going for a longer time than if you were running. That’s because it’s fun and gentle on your joints and muscles” (webmd)
  2. Take a Hike, literally.
    • Hiking is a great way to see beautiful things over the summer. Find the nearest spot near you!
    • It has also been found to:
      • Lower your risk of heart disease.
      • Improve your blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
      • Boost bone density, since walking is a weight-bearing exercise.
      • Build strength in your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and the muscles in your hips and lower legs.
      • Strengthen your core. (webmd)
  3. Play ultimate Frisbee
    • Not only is ultimate frisbee a fun way to compete with your friends, it is also a good way to:
      • increase sprinting and endurance
      • burn calories with interval training
      • increase resting metabolic rate
      • increase agility (healthfitnessrevolution)
  4. Jump Rope
    • It’s time to access your inner child! Bring out all your double dutch skills.
    • Jump rope is an awesome way to improve cardiovascular fitness while toning muscle (webmd)
  5. Take a Bike Ride!
    • Riding your bike can lead to
      • increased cardiovascular fitness.
      • increased muscle strength and flexibility.
      • improved joint mobility.
      • decreased stress levels.
      • improved posture and coordination.
      • strengthened bones.
      • decreased body fat levels.
      • prevention or management of disease. (webmd)
  6. Find your zen with outdoor yoga
    • Doing yoga outside is a perfect way to enjoy nature and relax.
    • Did I also mention that yoga can lead to:
      • Increased flexibility.
      • Increased muscle strength and tone.
      • Improved respiration, energy and vitality.
      • Maintaining a balanced metabolism.
      • Weight reduction.
      • Cardio and circulatory health.
      • Improved athletic performance.
      • Protection from injury (webmd)

 

What are you waiting for? Go have some fun!

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Plus-Size Models on What They’re Tired of Hearing and Where the Conversation Should Go

Are we talking about plus-size fashion in a productive way or are we stuck in a rut?

Before you think, “But plus-size fashion and its models have been getting lots of press lately,” consider this: Many of the industry’s top models insist that we have a long way to go to change the perception of what plus-size fashion is really about. Over and over, these models get asked the same tired questions. (Ahem: What do you think of the term plus-size?)

If we want to see the conversation surrounding plus-size fashion evolve and grow beyond a single facet, we have to stop asking its models the narrow questions. Model Felicity Hayward points out, “The more people keep asking those questions, the less we’re going to be able to be equal.”

So, we asked 12 top models about what they’re tired of being asked in interviews and how we can break out of the stunted cycle we’re in with regard to plus-size modeling and fashion. Take a look:

What are the challenges of perception that you face?

Denise Bidot:

[I get asked if] I care if people call me plus-size…I don’t have any problem with you calling me plus-size, curvy, voluptuous, big—I don’t really give a damn. We represent plus-size women, whether or not some of the models are smaller or larger.

Amber Tolliver: The question of should a plus-size or curvy woman be wearing certain things is infuriating. When it comes to straight-size fashion, any and all styles are fair game. Clothing options shouldn’t be different for curvy women. They should be given options and not told they can’t wear something before it’s even designed.

Bree Warren: People will ask if it’s my full-time job. What a lot of people don’t understand is that there are a lot of working models that have done, and will continue to do, very well. They don’t really understand that plus-size models work a lot.

Georgina Burke: [I get asked] how I stay in shape. It’s almost like they’re asking, “Do you actually work out?” There’s a big thing right now with all the plus-size girls showing that they’re working out and I feel like all of the interviews are saying, “Oh you don’t just sit around and eat burgers, you actually exercise?”

Marquita Pring: [I get asked if] I ever considered being “skinny” or if I have wanted to go to the straight-size world. As if the way I am is unattractive or it’s not as good as being a skinny girl, therefore, shouldn’t I want to be just like them? Never once in my career was that an option for me—not even at 15-years-old when I started—and I have never been interested in being smaller.

Felicity Hayward: [People] asking if we’ve had any negativity regarding being plus-size. People assume that because I’m bigger, I have experienced people asking me to lose weight or if I’ve worked with people that are horrible to me because I’m bigger…. The more people keep asking those questions, the less we’re going to be able to be equal.

Now, hear what they say on where the conversation surrounding plus-size fashion and modeling needs to go:

Georgia Pratt: It’s great when we can be included in conversations and questions that go beyond positive body image. The conversation needs to start opening up and approaching people such as designers, editors, photographers and other creative decision makers and influencers of the fashion industry.

Jennie Runk: It’s really important to get a message out to young girls and kids. They need to know that not only do we have Photoshop working in our favor, we have a professional hairstylist, makeup artist, and photographer…. The picture that these kids end up seeing looks—in no way—what we actually look like.

Justine Legault:At this point, I’m trying to have people get to know me as a person— that’s where I’m at in my career. [For instance], what would I recommend or say to women or young girls?

Julie Henderson: We should be focusing on how people feel when they look at us. Not “She’s too skinny or she’s too big or she’s plus-size or she’s black or she’s white.” People should say, “This is a beautiful woman. I recognize myself in her.”

Gia Genevieve: Plus-size models should also be shown in a glamorous way. I don’t see a lot of plus-size models being shown in a very sexy way, and we are very sexy. [What] I’m pushing for is that there needs to be more glamour in plus-size modeling—and less toned-down, commercial [shots].

Emme: For 20 years I’ve been wondering, How do we get the department stores to get [contemporary clothes] to size 18? They could really make much more money if they would buy more fashionable things in the size category of 12’s, 14’s, and 16’s. [I work with] the junior class at Syracuse University’s Fashion Design program to create clothing on size 2, 4, 6 forms and in the same class on 16, 18, 22 forms. We’re teaching student designers to design for all!

What do you think is most important to discuss about plus-size fashion and modeling?

 

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2016 Spring / Summer Makeup Trends

While winter is typically a great time to go bolder when it comes to the makeup world, spring is ideal for going a tad more natural. Lighter hues when it comes to lipstick and eyeshadow with light weight foundation being most women’s go to items for a flawless complexion. You can however break the mold and opt for trends spotted on the runway which tend to be more bold especially through the use of color. Each season is of course different but the trendy makeup maven always knows what’s hot. Look below to see this years hottest makeup looks for the girl who doesn’t like to shy away from top trends!

 

Extremely Bold Eyebrows

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Red Hued Lips

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Blue Eyeshadow

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Bold Eyeliner

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Matte Lipcolors

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Long Bold Eyelashes

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Dark Lipstick

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Underliner

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Intense Color On The Lid

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Glowing Complexions

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Glossy Lips

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Blush

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Body-Confidence Secrets From Plus-Size Model Crystal Renn

First, what inspired you to write Hungry?

I want women and the fashion industry to hear me and think, You know what—maybe there should be all different body types up on the runway, maybe that’s a really a great idea. I want women to be happy with who they are because I think that once they do that, all opportunities in their lives will get even bigger and better for them. Doors will be opened to them because they will be ready for it. Think about it: If you hate yourself, you don’t like your relationships, you don’t do as well at work, you don’t take all the chances that you want in your life. I would like to see women overcome that and take it to the next level.

I want women to be empowered, to be confident, to love life, and that’s why I chose the title Hungry for my book. Because it’s hungry for everything. And that’s what I want women to take away from it—to love themselves but also to accomplish your dreams.

Loving your body is one of those things that’s easier said than done. What advice do you have for women to put the thought into action?

Instead of focusing on all the bad things like, “Oh my gosh, I hate my thighs,” I say let’s look at the hair and say, “Oh wow, I’m having such a great hair day.” Or “Oh wow, my eyes are so clear today…I really like my lips….” And then eventually your mind will start to change and think of the positive things when you look in the mirror instead of focusing on the negative. It definitely takes time—it’s a habit—but just like anything else, over time, you can change the way your mind works.

So when you’re having a bad day and look in the mirror, what part of your body do you embrace to change your thought process?

There are a few things I look at on those days: I say, “Wow, I have full, great, healthy hair,” because now I eat healthy and I can see my health in my hair. That’s one thing. I also say, “Wow, I have great cheekbones. Let’s play them up, put some bronzer on them.” And then I might say, “Oh wow, I have a great waist; I’m going to show it off by belting my dress today.” Or I’ll put on some red lipstick and see how great I feel. I love wearing lipstick. It’s my feel-good-immediately move.

In your book, you talk a lot about being the size you’re supposed to be. How can women figure out what size they are supposed to be?

I refer to this as your body’s set point. Everyone is born with what they’re supposed to be. I think that you have to listen to your body, be very in tune and take the focus off the food. Eat a healthy, balanced diet, and when you crave something, have it. For instance, if you want red meat, have red meat—there’s a reason for it. If you want a cupcake, have a cupcake—and enjoy it. Start to listen to your body in that way, and I think that your body will even out to what it’s supposed to be, and you’ll be much happier for it. The second the obsession starts and the dieting starts, you’re immediately unhappy because you think you’re being starved. So when you do eat, you eat 10 times more than what you should, and you’re getting further and further away from recognizing what your body’s set point is.

What do you want people to think when they see your pictures—like the ones of you in a swimsuit or in the buff?

I want them to look at them and be like “Well, wow! She can wear a bikini, and she’s a size 12. I’m going to go wear a bikini. I’m OK. I’m OK and I’m an 8. Or I’m a 14, or a 16.” Whatever size they are, I want them to be inspired that a girl who they thought shouldn’t wear a bikini before is wearing one and looks great and healthy. I want them to feel inspired to do the same thing. I want women to be proud of their bodies, to be proud of who they are.

What is your goal for the fashion and media industries in terms of body types?

I don’t want to see only size 14’s, and I don’t want to see only size 2’s. I want to see all different women with all different shapes. I want to see all different races, all different hair colors, all different eye colors. I want to see a variety; I don’t want to be bored. And I think women will be inspired by being able to see themselves in these pictures. I understand that there’s a need for the fantasy, I completely do, but having images of girls who are so unattainable—that represent nobody—is not something that’s very positive. You can still have the fantasy, but I think the consumer wants to be able to touch it, if just a little bit.

Photos: Photo: Patrick Demarchelier