I got all the outfits I planned on buying:
Black sateen trousers, pencil skirt and jacket from Lane Bryant
Refined denim pencil skirt, trousers and jacket from Lane Bryant
Passionflower V-neck cardigan from Lane Bryant
Tencel A-line skirt from Coldwater Creek
Sea Blossom t-shirt from Coldwater Creek
If I were a really clever blogger, I'd show you pictures of all of these items. I had a fashion show last Saturday afternoon for my old roommate, and I asked her to take pictures of the various outfits I tried on, but the one picture she took was awful. She told me she was a terrible photographer, and after that one photo, I saw that it was not going to work out with her as the photographer, so, sorry, no photographs of my incredibly cute outfits.
Of course, as the saying goes, "Marry in haste, repent at leisure," and I married in haste, purchasing all the items at once without regard to my bank account, and in short order, I had no money left. It didn't help that I had a mad fever for Scandinavian crime novels, and bought five of them on Amazon.com. It also didn't help that I decided it was easier to eat out than making meals at home ... all these expenses added up, and I now have no money left. Well, I got a little money today, an honorarium for a speaking engagement that I did last Thursday, so that provided some relief (and an eyebrow waxing for an important event coming up Sunday). I was able to get some things off to the post office and guess what? I went out to eat again.
Anyway, to return to matters of fashion: I liked the outfits I got, for the most part I feel good in them. My old roommate, Alexis by name, assured me that they looked good, gave me pointers about what items went well together, and others not so much, encouraged me to get some of them tailored to fit because they were too big, and otherwise provided moral support. There was one skirt which felt too small, which I'm exchanging for a larger size.
I cannot for the life of me figure out sizing. Everything I purchased from Lane Bryant was size 24. The black sateen pants fit like a glove, the refined denim trousers were too big, but not big enough that I would have to go down a size, the black sateen skirt was too small (that's the one I'm exchanging) and the refined denim pencil skirt fit beautifully. I believe it was Tim Gunn in "Quality, Taste and Style" who said there is nothing more unattractive than a woman with whiskers across her skirt because it's too tight. I took that as my guide, and there were whiskers aplenty with the black sateen skirt. If I have to get the larger size taken in, I will.
The other thing I've been trying on is makeup. Back in January, I went to The Body Shop and got a makeover, asked them to help me get new makeup and clean out my old makeup bag, and the nice sales associate helped me with that. However, I'm very unhappy with the makeup I got. I like the eyeshadows, they really make my eyes pop, but I'm not happy with the tinted moisturizer, which I think is too dark, and the makeup primer makes me feel like I have latex on my face. The SA only used it on my eyelids, so maybe that's what it's intended for, so I guess I'll stick to that use. Also, the concealer doesn't have really good concealing power or staying power. It tends to dry to a powdery consistency, and if you touch it, it rubs off immediately. Also, rather than concealing the dark circles under my eyes, it tends to highlight them.
All in all, these experiments with makeup have been very frustrating and produce unhappiness. I think I look better without it. Some people would say I'm deluding myself, but I don't think I really need to have my bags enunciated with something that's supposed to hide them, and I don't think I need to look orange this early in the year. Maybe in the summertime when my skin is more tan, the tinted moisturizer will be more appropriate, but for now, it's too dark. I'm not ready to give up on makeup, but I don't think I'll be going back to The Body Shop for makeup products anytime soon. I think I'll follow the advice I read on About.com's makeup and skincare newsletter and go to Sephora. The article pointed out that the makeup artists at Sephora have a lot more products to choose from, so they can advise you as to the best one for you, without being limited to only one line of makeup. The only problem with that is that it's hard to find a good makeup artist at the Sephora in the Staten Island Mall who knows what they're doing and will give you good advice. Most of them, no offense, are high school girls or girls in their 20's who have no idea what suits a mature woman. In The Body Shop, there was a young woman, I'd say she was in her early 30's, who was really sensitive to the needs of her customers, and she gave really good advice on skincare and makeup. I still use the skincare line she recommended, the seaweed skincare line. It's good stuff for sensitive skin, which I have. For a long time, I used the makeup she recommended, the All-in-One Face Base, the Lightening Concealer, and the eyeshadows, but I had it so long it expired (I don't use makeup that often). The Face Base was starting to look too powdery on me, and ahem! Settling into those little lines that a woman of 50 is prone to having. So it was time to try something new, and the tinted moisturizer seemed the way to go, but now I see it was a big mistake. It's too dark, but conversely, it doesn't provide good coverage. It looks greasy, too. So I guess next time I get money, I will be going to Sephora, but maybe I'll try the one in JC Penneys, where hopefully the sales associates will be more mature and experienced.